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Full text of "Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon on the times of Louis XIV. and the regency. Translated and abridged by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, from the ed. collated with the original manuscript by M. Chéruel. Illustrated with ports. From the original"

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Volume IV. 

(t1)t (tout He iFrance IStrition 

Limited to Twelve Hundred and 
Fifty Numbered Sets, of which this is 

iv. 969 

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i;ranslatcti anU ^britiget) 










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Vol. IV. 







Copyright, 1899, 
By Hardy, Pratt & Company. 

All rights reserved. 






Hntijcrsttg \$xtss: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U. S. A. 



The Due d'Orleans unprepared for the king's death. — Session of 
Parliament for the regency. — The Due du Maine arrives. — Read- 
ing of the king's will and codicil. — Speech of the regent. — The 
will abrogated as to the administration of the State. — Dispute, first 
public, then private, between the regent and the Due du Maine. — 
The regent declares M. le Due chief of the Council of Regency. — 
The session closes with great applause. — Brief joy of the Mare'chal 
de Villeroy, — The afternoon session ; speech of the Due d'Orleans. 

— The codicil abrogated wholly. — The regent invested with all 
power. — Speech of the regent, indicating his course. — Madame 
asks one sole favour of the regent. — The king's heart taken to the 
Grands-Je'suites ; marvellous ingratitude. — Visit of the regent to 
Mme. de Maintenon. — Removal of Louis XV. from Versailles to 
Viucennes. — Obsequies of the late king. — The prisons opened; 
horrors. — Cardinal de Noailles made chief of the council on eccle- 
siastical affairs. — Reception and result of this news in Paris. — 
Reflections. — Formation of the Council of Regency. — Outbreak of 
the princes of the blood against the claims of the Due du Maine. 

— The Duchesse de Berry lodged at the Luxembourg. — First 
Council of Regency. — Novelties at Court 1 


The Scotch project. — The Earl of Stair. — Stair urges the regent to 
arrest the Pretender. — The Pretender escapes the assassins of 
Stair. — Balls at the Opera. — Reasons for keeping the Court at 
Versailles; it is kcjit in Paris. — I wish to retire from Court after 
the death of the king. — The regent deceived about the I'arliameut. 



— yi. du Maine makes me a visit without a cause. — I return it, and 
hear very singular, but very polite, remarks. — The Abbe Dubois, 
Counsellor of State for the Church. — The Duchesse de Berry 
usurps honours that she does not keep. — Abandons herself to 
Rion; who and what he was. — Daily life and personal conduct of 
the regent. — Religious enormities. — Cabal which commits the 
regent to England. — The Due d'Orle'ans never desired the crown. 

— I urge upon the regent a union with Spain. — Rascality of Stair 
and Beutivoglio. — The party of the Uuigenitus make me an odious 
proposition. — The Duchesse de Berry walls up the garden of the 
Luxembourg 34 


Parliament opposes the edicts of the regent. — Law, called Lass ; his 
bank. — The regent puts me in communication with Law against 
my will. — Arouet, poet uuder the name of Voltaire, exiled. — 
Death of Mme. Guyon. — The king taken to visit the Chancellor 
Pontchartrain. — Assemblies of Huguenots ; the regent inclined to 
recall them. — I persuade him not to do so. — Louville sent on a 
confidential mission to the King of Spain. — The result of it. — 
Gibraltar lost to Spain. — Death of IMontrevel from fear of spilt 
salt. — Marriage of the Duchesse d'Alba. — Bitterness between 
the princes of the blood and the bastards. — Paris the sink of 
all Europe. — D'Aguesseau, procureur-gen€ral, made chancellor. — 
Career and character of Chancellor d'Aguesseau. — I prevent the 
destruction of Marly. — Illness of Mme. de Maintenon 65 


My prediction at the Council of Regency. — D'Aguesseau sends Cardinal 
de Noailles and me a memorial against the bull. — The regent 
delivered over to the bull Unigenitus. — Cardinal de Noailles misses 
another grand stroke. — Tete-a-tete between the regent and me in 
his opera-box. — The regent puts me, against my will, on a com- 
mittee of finance. — I cause the purchase of the diamond after- 
wards called "the Regent." — The czar, Peter I., comes to France. 

— Motives of the czar for wi.*hing to be a Catholic. — His arrival 
in Paris. — Great qualities of the czar. — His face, clothes, and food. 
— .Tournal of the czar's visit. — Goes to Versailles, and sees Trianon 
and Marly. — Makes an insulting visit to Mme. de Maintenon. — I 



go to see the czar at d'Antin's house. — His departure ; his pain at 
the luxury of France; his prediction. — His passionate desire to 
unite himself to France. — Why he did not become a Catholic. — 
Choice lesson of Mare'chal de Villeroy to the king. — Quarrel about 
the medals. — Hatred of the King of England to the Prince of 
Wales 97 


The committee on finance; my proposal of reform. — Resolutions of 
the committee made an edict. — Mauceuvres of the Due de Noailles 
in regard to Law. — Intimacy between Dubois and Law ; its cause. 

— Edict in favour of the " Company of the West." — Defeat of 
Noailles . and the chancellor. — Project about the taille tax. — 
All good impossible in Prance. — Manoeuvres against Law by 
Noailles and the chancellor. — Law's faith in his system. — My 
conduct in this matter. — D'Argensou chosen for tlie finance and 
Seals. — I prepare d'Argeuson; why. — The chancellor loses the 
Seals and is exiled. — Trifles between the Due d'Orleans and me. — 
Death of Fagon, the late king's physician. — The Abbe de Saint- 
Pierre publishes a book. — Burning of a bridge in Paris. — Death 
of the Queen of England. — Audacious action of Parliament. — 
Extraordinary commission given to the king's law-officers. — The 
regent is drawn from his lethargy. — He forces me to speak to him 
about the Parliament. — Measures of Parliament to cajjture and 
hang Law. — I propose a lit de justice at the Tuileries. — The 
regent sends for me. — He proposes to attack Parliament and the 
Due du Maine. — I oppose his attacking the Due du Maine; why. 

— Plans laid at a conference 127 


I settle with Fontanieu the secret arrangements of the lit de justice. — 
M. le Due writes to me and asks an interview. — Long conversa- 
tion between M. le Due and me. — I oppose the deposition of the 
Due du Maine. — Al. Ic Due declares that his attachment to the 
regent depends upon it. — I render an account to the regent of my 
conversation with M. le Due. — The regent promises to hold firm removing the Due du Maine. — He tells me that M. le Due 
insi.sts on having tiie king's education. — Conversation between the 
Comte do Toulouse and the regent. — Fontanieu remedies the 



raised seats. — Meeting between M. le Due and me in the garden 
of the Tuilerics. — I make a hist effort to prevent the attack on the 
Due du Maine. — M. le Due's reply. — M. le Due gives nie his word 
that the bastards shall be reduced to their rank in tlie peerage. — 
I propose to keep the rank of the Comte de Toulouse unchanged. — 
All things foreseen and provided for the lit de justice. — I confide 
the coining event to the Due de Chaulnes. — Notice given of the 
lit de justice at six in the morning of August 26. — I notify the 
Comte de Toulouse of his safety. — I arrive at the Tuileries. — The 
lit de justice promptly and secretly arranged. — Tranquillity of 
the Keeper of the Seals. — The regent arrives at the Tuileries. — 
Appearance of the Council. — Entrance of the Due du Maine. — 
Entrance of the Comte de Toulouse. — Colloquies of the Due du 
Maine with others. — Colloquy of the regent with the Comte de 
Toulouse. — The bastards retire from the Council chamber. — The 
Council take their seats 100 


Speech of the regent. — Tableau of the Council. — Speech of the regent 
and the Keeper of the Seals. — Opinions given. — Speech of the 
regent on the reduction of the bastards. — Effect of the regent's 
speech. — Beading of the declaration; effect upon the council. — 
Votes taken ; I abstain from voting. — Speech of the regent on the 
reinstatement of the Comte de Toulouse. — Effect; the vote taken. 

— M. le Due demands the education of the king. — Agitation of 
the council. — The regent takes the votes. — Marechal de Villeroy 
complains ; the regent launches a thunderbolt. — Parliament at- 
tempts to refuse to obey the summons. — The regent undisturbed ; 
vote and steps taken. — Parliament arrives at the Tuileries on foot. 

— We go to fetch the king. — The march to the lit de justice. — 
I enter, and confide the reduction of the bastards to certain peers. 

— The spectacle of the lit de justice. — Entrance of the king; 
calm and majestic bearing of the regent. — The bearing of the 
Keeper of the Seals. — He opens this great scene with a speech to 
parliament on its duties. — Consternation of the parliament ; en- 
venomed speech of the president. — Reduction of the bastards to 
their rank in the peerage. — I decline in a marked manner to vote. 

— Speech of M. le Due demanding the education of the king. — 
He obtains his demand. — Registration of all the decrees by the 
lit de justice — The king's behaviour; his indifference about M. du 
Maine. — The lit de justice ends , , , , 1 93 



The regent forces me to tell the Duchesse d'Orle'ans of the fall of her 
brothers. — I break the news to the Duchesse d'Orle'aus. — She dic- 
tates to me a singularly noble letter. — Conduct of the Comte de 
Toulouse. — Clandestine use of secret registers by parliament. — 
M. le Due takes charge of the education of the king. — My rela- 
tions with Flenry, Bishop of Frejus. — I propose to Frcjus an 
easy, novel, agreeable, and useful way of instructing the king. — 
Cellamare's plot against the regent. — His despatches captured at 
Poitiers. — Cellamare arrested; his conduct. — The other foreign 
ministers make no remonstrance. — The regent confides to me and 
others that M. and Mme. du Maine are in the conspiracy. — We all 
advise their arrest. — The Due du Maine arrested at Sceaux. — 
The Duchesse du Maine arrested in Paris. — Excellent, straight- 
forward conduct of the Comte de Toulouse. — Forged papers pur- 
porting to issue from the King of Spain. — Distress of the regent 
at the " Philippiques." — Pere Tellier ; I try to help him ; is con- 
fined at La Fleche. — Ingratitude of the Jesuits. — Strange conduct 
of the Duchesse de Berry. — The sacraments refused to her by the 
rector and Cardinal de Noailles. — Death of Mme. de Maintenon ; 
her life at Saint-Cyr. — Curious but unintelligible statement of 
Fleury's power over the king 226 


The wonders of "The Mississippi." — Law and the regent urge me in 
vain to accept some. — I refuse, but accept payment of an old debt, 
— Absurd but persistent theories of parliament as to its power.—' 
Law proposes a scheme to hold parliament in check. — I prevent 
the regent from adopting it. — The Mississippi madness ; all heads 
turned. — Diminution of specie, and recoinage. — Law desires to be- 
come a Catholic ; his converters. — Determination of the Duchesse 
de Berry to declare her marriage to Rion. — Mme. de Saint-Simon 
goes to her in her last illness. — Brief sketch of the Duchesse de 
Berry; grief of the regent. — Mme. do Saint-Simon sends for 
me to be with him. — Death of the Duchesse de Berry ; illness of 
Mme. de Saint-Simon. — La Muette given to the king for hia 
amusements. — The regent wishes to make me governor of the 
king. — I dissuade him. — Confusion in the finances; Law made 
controller-general. — Insecurity of Law's system and bank is becom- 



ing apparent. — Inconceivable prodigality of the regent. — Grievous 
and iuliiiite results. — Forced levies to people the Mississippi; disas- 
trous results. — Marriage coutract produced by Law's system. — 
How the Abbe Dubois made himseK .tVrchbishop of Cambrai. — 
The Prince de Conti attacks Dubois ; his consecration. — Edict of 
the Council of State, which reveals the condition of the finances. 

— Is revoked, and leads to the ruin of Law. — The " Company of 
the Indies " made a commercial company. — Fatal results of that 
expedient. — Law leaves the kingdom ; his end; his family . . . 2.59 


Declaration for receiving the bull Unigenitus read at the Council. — Par- 
liament refuses to enregister it. — The regent carries the matter to 
the Grand Council. — Nullity of that registration. — Death, fortune, 
character, family, and memoirs of Dangeau. — The regent confides 
to me the marriage of the king to the infanta. — I obtain the em- 
bassy to Spain. — Dubois made cardinal at last ; his conduct on the 
occasion. — His pectoral cross; embarrassment of M. de Frejus. — 
Conduct of Frejus toward the king, the regent, Villeroy, and the 
world. — My embassy announced; the Due de Lauzun's advice. — 
My suite; I leave Paris for Madrid. — Passage of the Pyrenees; I 
go to see Loyola. — Arrived in Madrid, I make my first bow to 
their Catholic Majesties. — Sketch of the King of Spain. — Sketch 
of the Queen of Spain. — Hunting the daily pleasure of the king. 

— Illumination of the Place Major wonderful and surprising. — 
Departure of their Catholic Majesties for Lerma. — I am lodged 
in the village of Villahalmanza, near Lerma. — On my arrival I 

fall ill with the small-pox 292 


Exchange of the princesses, January 9, 1 722. — The king, queen, and 
Prince of the Asturias go to meet the princess. — I go to make my 
bow to the princess. — Amusing ignorance of Cardinal Borgia, who 
celebrates the marriage. — I am made grandee of Spain of the first 
class. — My eldest son is made Knight of the Golden Fleece. — 
The Princess of the Asturias becomes unwell. — Extraordinary 
conduct of the princess to the king and queen. — The "Peregrine," 
an incomparable pearl. — Lent very grievous in the Castiles. — 
I take my audience of leave of the king and queen, March 22. — 



Extraordinary leave-taking of the Princess of the Asturias. — I 
leave Madrid, and meet Mme. de Saint- Simon. — Long interview 
between me, the regent, and Cardinal Dubois. — Marriage of my 
daughter to the Prince de Chimay. — The Court returns perma- 
nently to Versailles. — Death of the Duke of Marlborough. — 
Mare'chal de ViUeroy refuses to obey the regent. — He is arrested, 
and taken to Villeroy. — The king much distressed. — Extraor- 
dinary disappearance of Frejus. — The king consoled by the return 
of Frejus. — Singular conversation between the Due d'Orle'ans and 
me. — Dubois well known to his master; incredible weakness of 
the regent. — Another strange conversation between the regent and 
me. — Death of the Princesse des Ui-sins. — Death of Dacier ; his 
wife. — Death of Madame ; her character 323 


1723 ; sterilit}'- of the records of this year ; its cause. — The king attains 
his majority. — The Council of Regency ends; the Council of State 
takes its place. — Marriage of the Comte de Toulouse. — The king 
goes to Meudon — for the convenience of Cardinal Dubois. — Illness 
and death of Dubois ; his wealth ; his obsequies. — Sketch of 
Cardinal Dubois. — His crazy capers; his marriage. — The Due 
d'Orleans greatly relieved by his death. — The king appoints the 
Due d'Orle'ans prime minister. — Death of Mesmes, president of 
parliament. — I find the Due d'Orle'ans, and go bade to him, the 
same as ever. — Sad condition of bis health. — I warn Frejus of 
the state of the Due d'Orle'ans health. — I exhort him to take meas- 
ures in consequence. — Falseness and policy of that prelate. — 
Death of the Ducde Lauzuii. — Sudden death of the Due d'Orleans. 

— M. le Due made prime minister. — Gross blunder of the Due 
de Chartres. — I go to see the Duchesse d'Orle'ans. — Conversa- 
tion between me and M. le Due. — Mme. de Saint-Simon goes to 
Versailles to pay her court to the king. — Intimations given to her. 

— I am confirmed in the resolution, long taken, to retire to Paris. 

— Effect of the death of the Due d'Orleans on foreign countries. — 
On the king, the Court, the Church, Paris, the provinces, and the 
people. — Conclusion: truth, self-restraint, impartiality .... 354 

INDEX 391 



Philippe, Due d'Orl^ans, Regent of France Frontispiece 

By Monnet (Carl) ; from an old engraving by T. Voyer. 

ViLLARS, Cladde-Locis-Hector, Duc and Marechal db ... 28 
By Largilli6re (Nicolas de) ; at Versailles. 

Mabie-Louise-Elisabeth d'Orleans, Duchesse de Berry ... 50 
By Largilli^re ; in possession of the Duchesse de Bajano, Paris. 

Peter the Great, Czar of Eussia 110 

By Casanova (Francesco) ; in the gallery of Prince Lichtenstein, 

Toulouse, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Comte de 170 

By Trinquesse ; belonged to the late Duc d'Aumale ; at Chantilly. 

Maine, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Duc du 202 

From an old engraving by Desrochers. 

Fleurt, Andre-Hercule, Bishop of Frejus, and Cardinal . . 234 
By Rigaud ; in the National Gallery, London. 

ViLLEROv, Francois de Neufville, Duc and Marechal de . . 272 
From an old engraving b}' N. de I'Armessin. 


Ddbois, Guillaume, Archbishop of Cambkai, and Cardinal . . 300 

By Rigaud ; painted in 1723, the year he died ; from an engrav- 
ing by P. Drevet. 


B3' Rigaud ; painted in 1723 ; at Versailles. 





The king's death overtook the indolence of the Due 
d'Orl^ans as if it were unexpected; he was still precisely 
The Due where, as we have seen, I left him. He had 

d'Orle'ans unpre- t • j? j.i i j_- 

pared for the uiade uo progrcss m any oi tlie resolutions 
king's death. j^g ought to have taken, either on matters of 

business or in the choice of persons. He was now over- 
whelmed with orders to give and matters to regulate ; each 
more petty or more commonplace than the others, but all so 
immediately necessary that the very case I had predicted 
to him happened, — he had no time to think of anything 

I heard of the king's death on waking, and went at once 
to make my bow to the new monarch. The first wave had 
passed ; I found myself almost alone. From there I went to 
the Due d'Orleans, who was surrounded in his apartments, 
where there was not room for a pin to drop to the ground. I 
took him aside into his cabinet to make a last effort, which 
proved absolutely useless, for the convocation of the States- 
general. I saw him again later durmg the dinner-hour, when 
he was less overwhelmed with people, and he then acknowl- 
edged to me that he had made no lists, nor any choice except 

VOL. IV. — 1 


those of which I have spolcen, nor had he decided upon his 
course about anything. It was no time then to blame or 
scold him. I merely shrugged my shoulders and exhorted 
him to, at least, be on his guard against solicitations and 
the ministers. Then I put him on the will and tlie codicil, 
and asked how he meant to conduct himself about them 
before parliament, where we were to go the next day for 
the reading of the two documents. He was the firmest 
man in the world in his cabinet, and the least so elsewhere. 
He promised marvels ; I again pointed out to him the im- 
portance of the occasion and all that would result for him. 
I was with him almost two hours. 

The next day, at seven in the morning, we, the peers, 

went together to the parliament with all our carriages and 

cort^se and suites. Less than half a quarter 

The session of o 

Parliament for of an liour after we were in our seats the 

: the regency. .T-nrn-nr- i i • 

\ The Due du bastards arrived. M. du Mame was burstmg 

Maine arrives. with joy. That cxprcssion seems strange, but 
his bearing cannot otherwise be rendered. A smiling, satis- 
fied air covered an air of confidence and audacity, which was 
visible nevertheless, m spite of the politeness that seemed 
endeavouring to repress it. He bowed to right and left and 
darted his glance at every one. After advancing a few steps 
he bowed to the presidents with a jubilant manner, which 
the bow of the chief-president, Mesmes, reflected openly. To 
the peers, the gravity, not to say the respect, slowness, and 
depth of his bow on all three sides, was indeed speaking. His 
head remained bent even after he had raised himself up — 
so heavy is the weight of crimes, even at a moment when 
triumph is no longer doubtful. My eyes followed him 
closely, and I remarked that on all three sides the bows 
that were returned to him were stiff and short. As for his 
brother, nothing appeared in him but his usual coldness. 



They were scarcely seated before M, le Due arrived, and, 
an instant after, the Due d'Orl^ans. After a short silence 
I saw the chief-president say a few words in a low voice to 
the Due d'Orleans, and then, in a loud tone, send the deputa- 
tion of parliament to fetch the king's will and its codicil, 
which had both been deposited in the same place. Silence 
continued during this great but short expectation ; each man 
looked at the rest, but without stirring. We, the peers, were 
on the lower seats ; the doors were supposed to be shut, but 
the audience chamber was crowded with inquisitive persons 
of all qualities and stations, and the numerous suites of those 
who took part in the session. 

The deputation was not long in returning. The will and 

the codicil were placed in the hands of the chief-president, 

who presented them, without yielding his hold 

Reading of the ^ , 

king's will and upou tlicm, to the Duc d'Orleans, after which 
he passed them from hand to hand along 
the judges to Dreux, counsellor of parliament, saying that 
Dreux read well and in a loud voice which would be heard 
by all from his seat, which was above that of the presi- 
dents and near the window of the robiug-room. It can 
be imagined in what silence we listened, and how all eyes 
and ears were fastened on the reader. Amid his joy the Duc 
du Maine betrayed a troubled soul; he felt himself at the 
moment of a great operation which he had to undergo. 
The Duc d'Orleans showed nothing but tranquil attention. 

I shall not pause upon the two documents, which related 
exclusively to the grandeur and power of the bastards, 
to Mme. de Maintenon and Saint-Cyr, to the choice of 
education for the king, and to that of the Council of Ee- 
gency, which delivered the Duc d'Orldans, robbed of all au- 
thority, to the unlimited power bestowed upon the Duc du 
Maine. I observed a gloom and a sort of indignation over- 


spread all faces as the reading went on, which turned to a 
species of voiceless ferment when the codicil was read. 
The Due du Maine felt it, and turned pale; for his whole 
attention was given to the faces of those present ; and my 
eyes followed his while I hstened, turning them now and 
then to the countenance of the Due d'Orl^ans. 

The reading over, the prince prepared to speak. Pass- 
ing his eyes around the whole assembly, he took off his 
Speech of the ^^^t, replaced it, and said a few words of eulogy 
Due d'Orieans. ^jj^ gj-^gf about the late king. Then, raising his 
voice, he declared that he had nothmg but approval for all 
that related to the education of the young king, and to an 
establishment so fine and so useful as that of Saint-Cyr, the 
arrangements for which had just been listened to. But with 
regard to the dispositions that concerned the government of 
the State, he must speak differently of those contained in 
the will and the codicil. He found it difficult, he said, to 
reconcile them with what the king had said to him during 
the last days of his life, and with the assurances he had 
publicly given him that nothing would be found in those 
arrangements with which he w^ould not be content ; in con- 
sequence of which the king had subsequently referred all 
orders and the ministers themselves to him. The king could 
therefore not have fully understood the force of what he had 
been made to do (here the Due d'Orieans looked in the 
direction of the Due du Maine), inasmuch as the Council of 
Eegency was chosen, and his, the regent's, authority so fixed 
by the terms of the will that no real authority was left to 
him. Such derogation, he went on to say, ofi'ered to his right 
of birth, to his attachment to the person of the king, to his 
love and his fidelity to the State, was of a nature not to be 
endured with preservation of his honour; and he trusted 
sufficiently in the esteem of those there present to feel con- 


fident that his regency would be declared by them such as 
it ought to be, namely : complete, independent, with the 
right to choose its own Council (to which he should not deny 
the deliberative voice) ; because he could only discuss public 
business with those persons who, being approved by the 
public, possessed also his own confidence. This short ad- 
dress seemed to make a great impression. 

The Due du Maine apparently wished to speak. As he 
took off his hat, the Due d'Orldans advanced his head beyond 
The will abro- M. Ic Duc and Said to him in a curt tone : 
gated as to the « Monsicur, you will speak in your turn." In 

administration ' «' ^ •^ 

of the State. a moment the affair turned in accordance with 

the wishes of the Duc d'Orl^ans. The composition of the 
Council of Regency and its power were overthrown. The 
choice of the Council was given to the regent of the king- 
dom, with the full authority of regency, and the decision on 
matters of business only to a plurahty of the votes of the 
Council, the vote of the regent counting as two in case of an 
equal division. In this way all favours and penalties were 
put into the sole hands of the regent. The acclamations 
were such that the Duc du Maine dared not say a word. 
He reserved himself to maintain the codicil, which would 
neutralize all that the regent had now obtamed. 

After a few moments' silence the Duc d'Orl^ans spoke 
again. He expressed surprise that the dispositions of the 
will had not sufficed the persons who had suggested them ; 
and he pointed out that, not content with being there made 
masters of the State, they had themselves discovered certain 
clauses so peculiar that, in order to secure themselves, they 
needed something more to make them masters of the king's 
person, of his own person, of the Court and of Paris. He 
added that if his honour was wounded by the will to an 
extent which, it seemed to liim, the assembly felt as he did 


himself, it was still more violated by the dispositions of the 
codicil, which left him neither liberty nor life in safety, and 
placed the person of the king under the absolute control of 
those who had dared to profit by tbe weakness of a dying 
monarch to wring from him that which he could never have 
intended. He concluded by declaring that it was impossible 
to exercise the regency under such conditions, and he doubted 
not that the wisdom of the assembly would annul a codicil 
which could not be maintained, because its dispositions would 
fling all France into the greatest and most inevitable misfor- 
tunes. While the prince was speaking a grave and deep 
silence applauded him witliout other expression. 

The Due du Maine, who had turned all colours, began to 
speak, and this time he was allowed to do so. He said that 
Dispute, first the cducatiou of the king, and consequently 

public then pri- , . , . r> i i i • • 

vate, between his pcrsou, Dcmg coulided to him, it was quite 
the regent and natural that he should have, to the exclusion 

the Due du ' 

Maine. of all othcrs, Complete authority over the 

king's household, civil and military, without which he could 
not undertake to serve him or make himself responsible for 
his person. After which he vaunted his attachment, so well- 
known to the late king, who had placed his sole confidence 
in it. The Due d'Orldans interrupted him at these words, to 
which he demurred. M. du Maine tried to temper them by 
praises of the Mar^chal de Villeroy, who was associated with 
him, but always under him, in the same duties and the same 
confidence. The Due d'Orl^ans replied that it would be a 
strange state of things if the first and most entire confidence 
were not placed in him ; and further that he could not live 
near the young king under the authority and protection of 
those who had made themselves absolute masters both 
within and without the household, and of Paris itself, by 
the command of the regiments of the guards. 


The dispute grew hot, and was carried on in short phrases 
each interrupting the other, until, fearing the end of an 
altercation that was growing indecent, I yielded to the 
persuasion of the Due de La Force (who leaned over to me 
across the Due de La Eochefoucauld, who was seated be- 
tween us), and made a sign with my hand to the Due 
d'OrMans to go out and finish the discussion in the chamber 
of inquests, which has a door of communication into the 
audience chamber. I was led to do this because I saw that 
M. du Maine was getting stronger and muttering something 
about division of authority, wliile the Due d'Orldans was 
not maintaining his rightful position, inasmuch as he was 
condescendmg to plead his cause against the Due du Maine. 
He was short-sighted, and his mind was so wholly bent on 
attacking and answering that he did not see my sign. A 
few moments later I made it again, equally without success ; 
then I rose, advanced a few steps, and said, though still at 
quite a distance : " Monsieur, if you were to go with M. du 
Maine into the chamber of inquests you could talk more 
comfortably there." As I spoke I went nearer and made 
him a sign with my hand and eyes which he was able to 
distinguish. He returned it with a nod, and I was hardly 
reseated before I saw him pass in front of M. le Due and 
the Due du Maine, who both rose and followed him into the 
chamber of inquests. I could not see who else followed 
them, for the whole assembly rose as they passed out, and 
then reseated itself in the deepest silence and did not stir 
again. Some time later the Comte de Toulouse rose and 
went into the inquest-chamber ; and shortly after the Due 
de La Force did the same. 

The latter was gone but a short time. Eeturning to the 
asseml)ly he passed the Due de La Rochefoucauld and me 
and put his hend between that of the Due de Sully and 


mine (because he did not want to be overheard by La 
Euchefoucauld), and said to me : " In God's name go in 
there ; things are going very badly. The Due d'Orl^ans is 
weakening ; stop the dispute, bring him back, and make 
liim say, as soon as he is seated, that it is too late to end 
the session before dinner, but it will be renewed in the after- 
noon. Then, in the interval," added La Force, " summon all 
the king's lawyers to the Palais-Eoyal, talk with the doubt- 
ful peers and wdth the leaders of the pack among the 

The advice seemed to me good and important. I left the 
hall and went to the chamber of inquests. I found a large 
circle, well suppHed with spectators. The Comte de Tou- 
louse was near the entrance, a little in advance, but still in 
the circle. M. le Due was about the middle of it, also in 
advance, and both were at some distance from the fireplace, 
before which the Due d'OrMans and the Due du Maine were 
standing alone, disputing with gestures but in low tones, 
each of them with an inflamed air. I considered the scene 
for a few moments ; then I walked towards the fireplace 
with the air of a man who has something to say. " What 
is it, monsieur?" said the Due d'Orl^ans, with sharp im- 
patience. " A hurried word, monsieur," I replied, " that I 
want to say to you." He continued to talk to the Due du 
Maine, I making almost a third in their conversation. I 
renewed my appeal. "He turned his ear to me. " Not here," 
I said, taking his hand, " come over there ; " and with that I 
drew him to a corner. The Comte de Toulouse, who was 
near by, drew back, and so did the whole circle on that side, 
and the Due du Maine behind them. 

I whispered to the Due d'Orl^ans that there was no hope 
of gaining anything from M. du Maine, who would never 
sacrifice the codicil to any reasons ; that the length of the 


conference was becoming indecent, as well as useless and 
dangerous ; that he was bemg made a spectacle to all who en- 
tered, and who were lookuig at him and watching ; and that 
the only thing to do was to return to the audience-chamber 
and adjourn the session mstantly. " You are right," he said, 
" and I will do it." " But," I said, " do it at once ; don't let 
them entice you out of it. It is M. de La Force who sends 
you this advice by me." He left me without another word 
and went to M. du Maine, to whom he merely said that it 
was late, and the matter would be concluded after dinner. 

I still stood where he had left me. I saw the Due du 
Maine make him a bow and retire ; at the same time M. le 
Due advanced to the Due d'Orl^ans and they talked together. 
The colloquy lasted but a short time and was very amicable, 
though M. le Due had an eager air. As it was necessary 
to pass close by me to re-enter the audience-chamber, they 
both came up to me. At that moment I became aware that 
M. le Due had asked the Due d'Orl^ans to appoint him to 
the Council as its chief, inasmuch as the will was now 
abrogated. I thmk, though he had not dared to tell me of 
it, that the Due d'Orldans had already bound himself to give 
the place, for M. le Due seemed to summon him to do so, 
rather than ask it of him. At any rate, the Due d'Orl^ans 
now told me that he should speak of the matter to parlia- 
ment before adjourning the session. I bowed with an air 
of congratulation and approval to M. le Due, and we re- 
entered the audience-chamber.^ 

The noise accompanying such entrance having quieted 
down, the Due d'OrMans said it was too late to impose longer 

^ Louis-IIcnri, son of Louis TIT., Due de Bourbon (Conde), and Louise, 
daughter of Louis XIV. and Mme. de Montespan ; born in 1092 ; prime 
minister of Louis XV. after the death of the regent, from 1723 to 172G. 
He was the last to bear the distinctive title of " M. le Due." — Tit. 


Oil the assembly; that we must now go to dinner, and 
return afterwards to finish the session; adding immedi- 
The regent de- atelj that he thought it proper M. le Due 
Clares M- le Due j^^^j^j gj^^cr the Council of Regency and take 

chief of the Coun- ^ " 

cii of Regency. ^fg position as chief of it ; and as the assembly 
had now done him the justice due to his birth and his 
office of regent, he should explain to it what he thought 
as to the form that should be given to the government, 
expecting to profit by the lights and the wisdom of the 
assembly, to which he should henceforth grant its former 
right of remonstrance. These words were followed by loud 
and general applause, and the session adjourned immediately. 

I approached the Due d'Orldans as he left the hall and 
whispered in his ear : " The moments are precious ; I follow 
you to the Palais-Royal." When I reached there I found 
that curiosity had gathered a great crowd, to which were 
added some who had been spectators at the parliament. 
All those with whom I was acquainted asked me eagerly 
for news. I contented myself with replying that everything 
was going well and in due form, but was not yet finished. 
The Due d'Orleans had passed into his cabinet, where I found 
him alone with Canillac, who had waited for him. We took 
our measures at once. The Due d'0rl4ans sent for d'Agues- 
seau, procureur-general (afterwards chancellor), and Joly de 
Fleury, first avocat-general. It was then two o'clock. 
Dinner was served on a small table with four covers, where 
Canillac, Conflans, first gentleman of the bedchamber to the 
Due d'Orleans, and I sat down with the prince. I may men- 
tion in passing that this was the last meal I ever took 
with him, except one at the Duchesse d'Orldans' house at 

The Mar^chal de Villeroy had stayed behind at Ver- 
sailles. He had charged Groesbriant to go to the parlia- 


ment-cliamber and send the news to him frequently. He re- 
ceived three couriers following closely upon one another, all 
Brief o of the hearing news that filled him with such joy and 
Marechai de hopc — Mm and liis former love, the Duchesse 


de Ventadour — that they felt no doubt of 
the codicil being maintained and of the will being vir- 
tually re-estabhshed. Unable to contain themselves, they 
spread the news of a complete victory of M. du Maine 
over the Due d'Orldans all about Versailles. Paris was 
also misled in the same way by emissaries of the Due du 
Maine, who were despatched on all sides. But their 
triumph was not of long duration. 

We returned to parliament soon after four o'clock. I went 
alone in my coach before the Due d'Orl^ans, and found every 
The afternoon onc already in his seat. I was looked at, so it 
ofThe Duc^"''^ seemed to me, with great curiosity ; I don't 
d'Orieans. kuow whether they had learned where I came 

from. I was careful that my behaviour should show noth- 
ing. In passing the Due de La Force I merely said that his 
advice was salutary, that there was reason to hope for all 
success, and that I had told the Due d'Orieans the thought 
was his and he had sent me. After the arrival of the regent, 
and the tumult inseparable from a numerous suite had 
quieted down, the prince said that matters must be taken 
up where they were left in the mornmg ; that he must in- 
form the assembly he had come to no agreement with M. 
du Maine, and he must therefore bring before it once more 
the monstrous clauses of a codicil wrung from the dying 
king, — clauses more strange than those of the will itself, 
which the court of parliament had already adjudged should 
not be executed ; and if so, neither should the person of the 
king, the Court, Paris, consequently the State, be handed over 
to the Due du Maine ; nor yet the person, liberty, and life 


of the regent, wliich the Due du Maine would be in a posi- 
tion to rule the moment he was absolute master of the king's 
household, civil and military. The court of parliament must 
surely see all that would necessarily result from such an 
unheard-of innovation, and he therefore rehed upon its in- 
telhgence, its prudence, wisdom, equity, and love for the 
State to declare what it thought. 

M. du Maine now seemed as contemptible on the field of 
battle as he had been formidable in the obscurity of cabi- 
The codicil wholly ^cts. Hc had the air of a condemned con- 
abrogated. ^^^^^ . ^^^| j^jg usually ruddy face was as pale 

as death. He replied in a low voice that was scarcely 
inteUigible, and with an air as humble and respectful as it 
was audacious earlier in the day. The vote was taken with- 
out Hstening to him, and the complete abrogation of the 
codicil was passed as it were with one voice. This was done 
as hastily as the abrogation of the will in the morning ; both 
acts being the result of sudden indignation. The king's 
lawyers ought to have spoken before the vote was taken, 
and they were there before any one voted. Moreover, the 
president did not call for the votes ; they anticipated the 
order of proceedings. D'Aguesseau, though procureur-gen- 
eral, and Fleury, avocat-general, then spoke, — the first in 
few words ; the latter more at length and making a fine 
speech. As it exists in the libraries I shall only say that 
it was in all ways and throughout favourable to the Due 

After they had spoken, the Due du Maine, seeing himself 
shorn of everything, tried a last resource. He represented, 
„. , . with more vigour than might have been ex- 

The regent in- o o 

vested with all pectcd from the appearance he presented at 


the second session, but still cautiously, that if 
he were robbed of the authority given him by the codicil he 


should ask to be discharged from the guardianship of the 
king and from all responsibihty for his person, retaining only 
the superintendence of his education. The Due d'Orl^ans at 
once replied, " Very willingly, monsieur ; that is all-sufh- 
cient." Whereupon Mesmes, the president, as completely 
crushed as the Due du Maine, called for the votes. Each 
person answered by agreeing to that conclusion, and the 
decree was made in such shape that no sort of power re- 
mamed to the Due du Maine, who was placed entirely in 
the hands of the regent, with the right of the latter to put 
into the Council of Eegency whom he pleased, and to re- 
move any as he thought best ; also of doing whatever he 
judged proper as to the form to be given to the govern- 
ment ; authority in matters of business only being vested in 
the Council of Eegency by plurality of votes, that of the 
regent counting as two in case of an equal division. M. le 
Due was declared chief of the Council of Eegency under 
the regent. 

While the votes were being taken and judgment delivered 
the Due du Maine sat with his eyes lowered, seemingly more 
dead than alive, and quite motionless. His son and his 
brother gave no sign of taking part in anything. The judg- 
ment was received with loud acclamations from the crowd 
around the audience-chamber, which soon filled the rest of 
the building, as the news spread of what had been decided. 

As soon as this noise, which was rather prolonged, had 
quieted, the regent made a short, courteous, and dignified 
speech of thanks to the assembly ; protesting 
regent, indicating thc carc with wliich he should employ the au- 
is course. thority thus given to him for the good of the 

State. After which he said it was now time to inform the 
assembly of the forms that he thought necessary to establish 
to aid him in the administration of the State. He added 


that he did this with all the more confidence because what 
he proposed to do was only the execution of plans which 
M. le Due de Bourgogne (it was so he called him) had re- 
solved upon, and which were found among his papers. He 
made a short and beautiful eulogy of the ideas and intentions 
of that prince ; and then announced that, besides the Council 
of Regency, which would be supreme, and from which all the 
decisions of the government would emanate, he proposed to 
establish other councils : one for foreign affairs, one for war, 
one for the navy, one for financial matters, one for ecclesias- 
tical affairs, and one for the internal affairs of the kingdom. 
He proposed to select certain magistrates from the assembly 
before him to enter the two latter councils and assist them 
with their ideas on the police of the kingdom, on questions 
of jurisprudence, and on all that related to the liberties of the 
Gallican Church. The applause of the magistrates hereupon 
burst forth, and the crowd responded. The president closed 
the session with a very brief compliment to the regent, who 
rose, as did the rest of the assembly, and all departed. 

We must remember here the very singular coincidence in 
the same thought about these councils between the Due de 
Chevreuse and me, which I have related elsewhere ; councils 
adopted and determined upon by M. le Due de Bourgogne, 
and found, as the regent had stated, among his papers. It 
is difficult to render the impression made by the mention of 
that august name, or to what point the memory of that 
prince seemed precious, and his person regretted and re- 
spected with sincere veneration. 

The regent went straight from the parliament to Versailles, 
for it was very late ; and he wanted to see the king before he 
,, ^ , went to bed, as if to render him an accoimt of 

Madame asks one 

sole favour of wliat had talvCu place. From there he went to 

the regent. -« «- i m ^ • 

see Madame, bhe ran to meet mm, and em- 


braced liim in a transport of joy. After the first questions 
and congratulations were over she told him she desired noth- 
ing but the happiness of the State through a good and wise 
government, and his own good fame ; that she should never ask 
liim for any favour save one, and that one was solely for his 
own good and his honour ; but she wanted his pledged word 
upon it, — namely, never to employ in anything, however 
triflmg, the Abb^ Dubois, who was the greatest knave and 
the most utter scoundrel that there was in the world, of 
which she had ten thousand proofs ; a scoundrel who, by dint 
of creeping, meant to thrust himself everywhere, and would 
sell him, and the State, too, for his own interests. She said 
various other things about him, and pressed her son so much 
that she finally drew a positive promise from him never to 
employ the Abbd Dubois in any way. 

I reached Versailles an hour later, and went to see Mme. 
la Duchesse d'Orldans, who appeared to me to be trying to 
seem glad. I avoided giving her details, on the ground that 
I must go and rest ; in fact, it was really necessary. I 
learned the next day of the promise exacted and given, of 
the total exclusion of the Abb^ Dubois. We shall see but 
too soon that the promises of the Due d'Orldans were only 
words, or rather sounds that beat the air. 

Friday, Sept. 6, Cardinal de Eohan carried the late king's 

heart to the Grands-Jesuites with very little pomp or cortege. 

Except such as were actually on duty, not six 

The king's heart ^ J j ' 

taken to the pcrsous belonging to the Court went to the 

MTrlenous"' ^^ Grauds-J^suitcs for the ceremony. It is not for 
ingratitude. j^g^ who, foUowiug the cxamplc of my father, 

never in my life missed attending the anniversary of the 
death of Louis XIII. at Saint-Denis (where I have now gone 
for fifty-two years, without ever seeing another person pres- 
ent) to call attention to this quid- ingratitude. 


On the same day the regent did an action of the rarest 
merit if the thought of God had led him to do it, but reaUy 
Visit of the of great unworthiness, because religion had no 

regent to Mme. p^rt in it, and he ought to have had too much 

de Maintenon. 

respect for himself to have shown to the world 
so hastily what safety there was in persecuting and reviling 
him in the most persistent and cruel way. He went at eight 
o'clock in the morning to see Mme. de Maintenon at Saint- 
Cyr. He was nearly an hour with that enemy who had 
wanted to make him lose his head and had so recently 
delivered him over, bound hand and foot, to the Due du 
Maine by the monstrous terms of the king's will and codicil. 
The regent promised her during this visit that the four thou- 
sand francs which the late king had given her every month 
should be continued. He also told her that if she wanted 
more she had only to ask for it ; and he assured her of his 
protection for Saint-Cyr, — where all the classes of young 
ladies were assembled for his inspection as he left. 

It is well to know that besides the estate of Maintenon 
and other property belonging to this famous and fatal witch, 
the estabhshment of Saint-Cyr, which had an income of more 
than four hundred thousand francs and much money laid by, 
was bound by the terms of its foundation to receive Mme. de 
Maintenon if she wished to retire there ; to obey her in all 
things as the sole and absolute superior ; to maintain her 
and all whom she brought with her — servants, carriages, and 
equipments — in the manner she desired ; her own table and 
other food to be supplied in the same way ; and all this at the 
cost of the establishment, which engagement was punctually 
fulfilled until her death. Thus she had no need of the liber- 
ality of forty-eight thousand francs a year. It would have 
been enough if the Due d'Orldans had simply forgotten her 
existence and left her in peace at Saint-Cyr. 


The regent was careful not to tell me of this visit, either 
before or after ; neither did I take the trouble to reproach 
him and make him feel ashamed of it. It made a great talk 
in the world and was not approved. The Spanish affair was 
not forgotten, and the story of the will and the codicil was 
the topic of all conversations. i 

Saturday, September 7, was the day fixed for the first lit 
de justice of the young king ; but as he had taken cold dur- 
Removai of the iug the night it was postponed, and parliament, 
slafes t^ ^^'^' which was about to rise for its hoHday, was 
vincennes. coutinued a wcck longer. The next day the 

regent, who was hampered by the hfe at Versailles because 
he liked to live in Paris and have his pleasures close beside 
him, proposed to remove the king to Vincennes ; but finding 
great opposition in the Court physicians (all of them conven- 
iently lodged at Versailles) to the removal of the king's per- 
son, making his little cold their pretext, he sent for the Paris 
physicians who had been summoned to attend the late king. 
They, having nothing to gain by the Court's residence at 
Versailles, laughed at the other doctors, and on their advice 
the king was taken, Monday, 19th, to Vincennes, where all 
was ready to receive him. 

On the same day the body of the late king was taken to 
Saint-Denis. I have already said that nothing was either 
Obsequies of the Ordered Or forbidden about his obsequies ; it 
late king. ^g^g arranged to follow the last example, in 

order to avoid expense, embarrassment, and tedious ceremo- 
nies. Louis XIII., in his modesty and humility, had himself 
ordered his own funeral to be as plain as possible. Those 
virtues, together with many others that were Christian and 
heroic, he had not transmitted to his son. But the prece- 
dent of his example as to the funeral was used, and no one 
criticised the action or thought it wrong ; so true is it that 

VOL. IV. — 2 


personal attachment and gratitude are virtues that have 
flown to heaven with Astrsea ; as had been amply shown at 
the Grands-J^suites a few days earlier when the king's heart 
was taken there, — that heart that had never loved any one, 
and had been so little loved itself. M. le Due, instead of the 
Due d'Orldans, who did not feel himself obliged to go, headed 
tlie procession. 

The day after the arrival of the king at Vincennes, the 
regent worked in the morning with the different secretaries 
The prisons °^ State, wliom he had ordered to bring him 

opened. Horrors, j^g^g pf a,ll the Uttres dc cachct in their offices, 
with the reasons for each, many of which proved to be very 
short. Most of the Uttres de cachet for exile or imprison- 
ment had been issued for Jansenism and in consequence of 
the bull Unigenitus ; many of them for reasons known to the 
king alone and those who had caused them to be issued; 
others came down from the time of preceding ministries, 
among them many now wholly unknown and long forgotten. 
The regent set all these persons at liberty, both exiles and 
prisoners, except such as were condemned for actual crimes, 
bringins endless benedictions on his head for an act of ius- 
tice and humanity. Very singular tales were told in con- 
sequence ; some of them very strange, making the public 
deplore the misery of the victims and the tyranny of the last 
reign and its ministers. Among those who were found in 
the Bastille was a man arrested thirty-five years earlier on 
the day he arrived in Paris from Italy, where he belonged 
and whence he came to travel. It was not known why he 
was arrested or whether he had ever been interrogated ; as, 
in fact, was the case with many others. He was thought to 
have been imprisoned by mistake. "V\^ien told that he had 
his liberty, he asked sadly what he should do with it. He 
said he had not a sou, that he knew no one in Paris, not 


even a single street, nor a soul in France ; that his relations 
in Italy were apparently dead since he left them, and his 
property had probably been divided up during the many 
years when they had heard nothing of him ; in short, he 
knew not what to do with himself. He asked to be allowed 
to remain in the Bastille for the rest of his days with food 
and lodging. This was granted him, with all the liberty he 
chose to take. As for those who were taken from dungeons 
where the hatred of the ministers, the Jesuits, and the pro- 
moters of the bull had consigned them, the horror of the 
state in which they were found dismayed every one and made 
credible all the cruelties which they related as soon as they 
were fully at liberty. 

During the first days after we took up our residence in 
Paris, that is to say, as soon as the king was at Vincennes, 
the councils were discussed between the Due d'Orldans and 
me. It was not without some reproach on my part that 
these selections had still to be made. He began to talk 
doubtfully about the place of president of the finances, though 
he had promised it to the Due de Noailles, as I have already 
said, before the death of the king. Although by this time I 
had reason to know what to expect personally from that 
gallant man, I felt I owed more to the State and to our origi- 
nal plan than to myself. I still thought him capable of good 
work, trained as he was for two years by Desmarets. Plis 
v/ealth and his great resources assured me of liis having 
clean hands ; also his ambition and his great efforts to do 
well made him, as I thought, fit for so important a place, 
where I wanted a seigneur, and for which I saw none to 
equal him. I therefore confirmed the Due d'Orl^ans in his 
intention to give it to him. 

At the same time I managed to fortify the regent against 
the efforts that were being made to destroy Cardinal de 


Noailles. Cardinals cle Rohan and de Bissy, the Nuncio 
Bentivoglio, and the other promoters of the bull, were in the 
Cardinal de deepest auxiety as to the treatment Cardinal 

Noailles made (Je Noailles might receive after the death of 

chief of the coun- 
cil on ecclesiasti- the king. They were dying of fear lest he 

cai affairs. should be placed at the head of ecclesiastical 

affairs ; they moved heaven and earth to prevent it ; they 
called for help from every one ; they asked of the principal 
personages protection for religion and " the good cause." 
Bissy came to me, quite distracted, before we left Ver- 
sailles, and I answered him with frigid modesty. One 
evening, when there was a large but select company at the 
Due d'Orl^ans' soon after our settlement in Paris, I saw the 
Due de Noailles talking to Canillac, and both of them 
glancing at me. Immediately after, Canillac came to me 
and took me aside to represent the danger of delay in de- 
claring Cardinal de Noailles head of the council of con- 
science, or ecclesiastical affairs (the council bore both names), 
the movements and intrigues of the opposing party, and the 
embarrassing position of the Due d'Orldans if he gave time 
for the pope to write him a friendly brief, asking as a favour 
that Cardinal de Noailles should not be placed at the head 
of that council. This argument struck me forcibly ; I agreed 
with Canillac that there was no time to lose. He proposed 
to me to speak on the instant to the Due d'Orl^ans, and I 
did so a moment later. I made him afraid of the predica- 
ment of either disobliging the pope or of giving him a footing 
on which to meddle in the internal affairs of the govern- 
ment, — a precedent which would certainly result in danger- 
ous consequences. He felt this, but seemed reluctant to end 
the matter. I then proposed to him (to avoid all other in- 
fluence) to declare at once the offices of the Due and Car- 
duial de Noailles ; to call the duke up then and there. 


announce the appointments aloud before the assembled 
company, and tell the duke to go and tell his uncle. The 
regent still hesitated; I urged him, and carried the point. 
He called to the Due de Noailles, and, going nearer to the 
company, he made the announcement. 

The news resounded immediately in the Palais-Eoyal, and 
by evening throughout all Paris. The next day every one 
Reception and kuew it, and the joy and plaudits seemed to 
result of the news j^g universal; but the grief and wrath of the 

of this appoint- 

ment. oppositc party, once so large and so trium- 

phant, now reduced in numbers and credit, were extreme. 
The thanks of the cardinal, which he offered to the regent on 
the following day, concluded the matter. It was high time. 
The request of the pope was already determined upon. He 
changed his letter to complaints, but they were mild. The 
regent replied more mildly still, but with firmness as to the 
matter itself, mmgled with many compliments and much 
respect. The power of temporal interests over matters 
ecclesiastical was then seen plainly; and very transparent 
was the thin gauze of that mantle of religion wliich covers 
so much ambition, so many cabals, intrigues, and infamies. 
The " good cause " on which under the late king faith and 
religion itself seemed to depend, — that of the bull which had 
obscured the gospel and made it of little account in com- 
parison with itself (and what I say is not exaggerated), ^ that 
" cause " changed all of a sudden in its relation to the party 
of unbelievers, rebels, schismatics, proscribed and exiled 
heretics, whose noblest heads were dispersed and banished 
or cast into prisons and dungeons without any tribunal 
taking cognizance of their cases, or any relief such as justice 
and humanity vainly demanded for them. This one great 
stroke of the return of Cardinal de Noailles and his friends 
to power on the death of the king cast down their enemies, 


sufficed to wi'ite upon their foreheads the ignominy of their 
ambition, their plots, their violence ; it revealed their bull as 
the opprobrium of religion, the enemy of true doctrine, of 
Holy Writ, of the Fathers, and their " cause " as odious and 
dangerous to religion and the State. 

Twenty-four hours sufficed for this great change ; fifteen 
days completed it. Grass had grown in the archbishop's 
courtyard ; no one ventured there, save a few trembhng 
Nicodemuses in terror of the synagogue. In a moment, 
men turned that way ; in the next they rushed there. All 
the bishops who had prostituted themselves to the king, all 
the priests of the second class, who had tlirust themselves 
forward to make their way, all the people of the world who 
had been most eager to ingratiate themselves by supporting 
the ecclesiastical dictators, were not ashamed to swell the 
court of Cardinal de Xoailles; and there were even some 
who were impudent enough to endeavour to make him 
believe they had always loved and respected him, and that 
their conduct was innocent. He himself was ashamed for 
them. He received them all like a true father ; showed no 
coldness to any but those whose duplicity was manifest; 
and even to them no bitterness or complaint. He was little 
moved, in fact, by the sudden change, which he regarded 
as the pledge of another should the favour now shown to 
him cease. 

The complete prostration of his enemies was incredible. 

It showed that they had nothing to rely on but an arm of 

flesh; of which they were so well convinced 


that after their first bewilderment the most 
rabid of them gathered together once more, trying to con- 
jure the storm and to return in time to the place whence 
they had fallen, by the same intrigues which had put them 
there in the first instance. God, who tests his people, whose 


reign is not of this world, for which our Lord declared he 
did not pray, was pleased to bring the plots of that same 
world to an end, although the smihng prospect had but short 

All the other councils being chosen, it was necessary to come 

to that of the Kegency, the formation of which was far more 

difficult. It ought to have been composed of 

Formation of the 

Council of few members, to make it the more august, but 

egency. there were several personages openly inimical 

to the Due d'Orldans, or suspected of being so, whose station 
did not allow of their being excluded. These were the Due 
du Maine, the Comte de Toulouse, Mar^chal Villeroy, Mar^- 
chal d'Harcourt (who had refused the place offered to him as 
head of the council of the interior), and Chancellor Voysin, 
to whom the Due d'Orl^ans had made the enormous mistake 
of promising that he should keep the Seals. Toulouse and 
Harcourt were only suspected, but very much so, — the 
former from his position and through his brother, different 
as he was from him ; the latter because of his former inti- 
macy with Mme. de Maintenon and the Princesse des 
Ursins. The others were open enemies. It was therefore 
necessary to counterbalance them by persons who were sure 
for the regent and also of a character and station to make 
them listened to in the Council, to which all matters within 
and without the kingdom were reported by the other councils 
and decided, in the last resort, by plurality of votes. It was 
necessary also to take into consideration that the opinion of 
M. le Due, thougli at present it had little weight, would 
grow weightier with age, and might, through self-interest 
and cabals, be readily turned against the regent. 

The fatal pliancy of the Due d'Orleans was such in this 
matter of great importance that he yielded to the persuasions 
of Mar^chal de Besons to change him from the council of 


war, where the good-nature of the regent had placed him, to 
the Council of Eegency. Besons was a rough boor, who had 
run away from his father when he wanted to put him in 
the Church, to enlist among the troops sent clandestinely to 
Portugal, where he carried a musket. Being recognized by 
emissaries from his father, he was soon made an officer and 
served with diligence. This, with the Latin he knew before 
he enlisted, was all the education he ever had. He was a 
good general officer ; knew very well how to lead a cavalry 
wing, and understood certain details ; though his boorishness 
and high temper hindered him quite often from seeing and 
comprehending as he should have done. Anything more 
than this was beyond his capacity, as was proved more than 
once when, by chance, he had an army to command. With 
a temper that was intolerable and very little intelligence, he 
was personally brave and knew what honour was ; but he 
was also awkward in every way, extremely cautious towards 
every one, with a great passion for being and having ; very 
coarse and very dull, though not lacking in a certain petty 
spirit of short intrigue, in which he showed judgment. He 
had the head of a lion, very large with flopping lips, in- 
cased in a huge wig that would have made a good study for 
Rembrandt ; and this head, seeming to be of one piece with 
his body, was thought by fools to be a sound one. He was 
not a personage to pit against any one in a Council of Re- 
gency. The Due d'Orl^ans let me see he was ashamed of the 
promise he had given ; as for me, I was much annoyed to 
find myself harnessed with such a man. 

Another man whom the regent put into the Council of 
Regency, about whom he was much embarrassed to inform me 
and only let me know it by degrees, was Torcy, to the amaze- 
ment of all France. He had always been allied with those 
who were most opposed to the Due d'Orl^ans, if we except 


the latter's two worst enemies, Mme. de Maintenon and the 
Due du Maine. The Due d'Orl^ans had had many reasons 
to complain of him, and imtil after the death of the king 
neither he nor his wife had held any intercourse with him. 
I myself was strongly persuaded of Torcy's opposition to the 
Due d'Orl^ans. I was prejudiced against him, I admit it 
frankly, by the sentiments the Dues de Chevreuse and de 
BeauvilKers cherished against him, although their reasons for 
this aversion related only to the affairs of Eome. I had never 
had with Torcy and his wife anything more than a shght 
acquaintance, far less any intimacy ; and (if truth requires 
that nothing should be hidden), as they had only the best 
and most select company at their house, my vanity was not 
pleased at never receiving the slightest advance on their part. 
Torcy was, moreover, a man of the old ministry, and, in my 
desire to do away with the secretaries of State and their power, 
he was not, of course, to my mind. I had often urged the Due 
d'Orl^ans to exclude him, and though he would never answer 
me on that point as clearly as I wished, I still hoped for his 
exclusion, and was working for it when the regent let me 
see I need not count upon him. I redoubled my efforts, 
until at last he owned to me, with great embarrassment, that 
he thought him necessary, in order to obtain the secrets of 
foreign affairs during the many years Torcy had been the 
minister of them, and also the secrets of the post-office, which 
he could not do without. This was reaUy what led him to 
retaining Torcy. It will be seen in the end how fully I 
recognized my error, and the close intimacy which esteem, 
that I shall venture to call mutual, produced between Torcy 
and myself, which has lasted until this present time, namely, 
March, 1746. 

The Due d'Orlf^ans had always intended to put a bisliop 
into the Council of Eegency. I thought myself that he 


could do without one. My opinion was that of the late king, 
and, I believe, that of every sensible man, especially during 
the tire of the Unigenitus. The interests of the late Arch- 
bishop of Cambrai, urged upon me by the immense influence 
of the Due de Beauvilliers, had kept me from opposing that 
desire, so that after the death of those two personages I had 
no time to do so siiccessfuUy. I sought therefore for the 
least bad and most hopeful choice that could be made ; and 
I proposed to the Due d'Orleans the former Bishop of Troyes. 

We have seen who and what he was at the beginning of 
these Memoirs, where I enlarged upon him on the occasion 
of his retirement from the world. At the age I then was, I 
had scarcely more than seen his face and had never known 
him personally ; but from what I heard then he now seemed 
to me expressly made for the Council of Eegency ; I felt that 
here was a prelate profoundly wise as to the temporal affairs 
of the clergy, versed in those of Eome, withal a Frenchman, 
and possessing enough ecclesiastical learning. This was his 
reputation. He had moreover spent his life until his retire- 
ment in the great world of the Court and city ; welcomed 
in the best and most important circles ; a friend of most of 
the great personages and of the principal women of his time, 
with whom he had mingled in many matters. This great 
knowledge of the world was a great point. He was a bishop 
without a diocese, who thought of nothing so little as of 
coming back to the surface. At Troyes he saw no one and 
lived with his nephew ; when the nephew visited Paris 
he moved to a room in the monastery of Troyes, where he 
also saw no one but the monks and was assiduous at their 
services. He also passed all Lents and Advents with them. 

Such a life, grafted on one of the great world solely by 
choice, and so well sustained, seemed to me calculated to 
have much weight in restraining the license of the life 


of the regent. He had, moreover, no connection whatever 
with any cabal. All these things led me to beheve he 
was expressly fitted for the place, inasmuch as a bishop was 
thought to be needful. The Due d'Orleans approved the 
choice and made it. Nothing was ever more applauded. 
The bishop was sent for ; he arrived, and he accepted, with- 
out affectation. The world, wliich nearly always expects 
more of good people than is fair, would have liked him to 
hold back, or even to refuse altogether. The beginnmgs 
were admirable. He attended only to his necessary duties. 
I congratulated myself on having thought of him. But all 
these marvels were of short duration ; I was as much mis- 
taken about him as I was about Torcy, but in the opposite 
direction. It is not yet time, however, to talk of that. 

The Council of Eegency was, when completed, composed 
of the following members, in their order of precedence : M. 
le Due d'Orl^ans, M. le Due, the Due du Maine, the Comte 
de Toulouse, Voysin, chancellor, myself, since I must name 
myself, the Mar^chals de Villeroy, d'Harcourt, and de Besons, 
the former Bishop of Troyes, and Torcy ; with La Vrilhfere 
to keep the records, and Pontchartrain, — the two latter 
without votes. Those who came to report from the other 
councils were : the Archbishop of Bordeaux from the council 
of conscience, a man who had never been subjected by the 
promoters of the bull; the Mardchals de Villars, d'Estr^es, 
and d'Huxelles, from the councils of war, navy, and foreign 
affairs ; the Dues de Noailles and d'Antin from those of the 
finances and the interior. We can now see on whom and on 
how much the regent could count as friends, enemies, and 
neutrals. It resulted, however, in the Council being almost 
always tranquil, and the regent left master of everything. 

Villars, second mardchal of France, the most completely 
lucky of all the millions of men born under the long reign 


of Louis XIV., was made chief of the council of war, because 
in his brilliant position it could not be otherwise as soon as 
Villeroy, the senior mar^chal, left the way open to him by 
his own selection as head of the council of finance, besides 
his other employments named in the king's will. We have 
seen his character already, and the reasons why Mme. ScaiTon, 
on becoming Mme. de Maintenon, never failed to protect him. 
His mother, a tiny, shrivelled old woman, all mind and no 
body, who had lately died at eighty-six years of age, was the 
most surprised person of all at the amazing good fortune of 
her son. She was spicy, amusing, and malicious, with a fund 
of incomparably pithy sayings, lightly as they seemed to 
touch. Although she tried to conceal it, the little that she 
thought of her son was quite apparent ; she always advised 
him to talk much of liimself to the king only, never to 
others. But none of the heads of the councils who reported 
to the Council of Eegeucy (except d'Antin, who excelled in 
doing so), were more iit for the work than Villars. I will 
give an instance concerning the mardclial liimself, which 
will show how much the public business suffered in con- 

Villars, who wrote such a villanous hand that no one 
could read it, came to the Council of Eegency with a ruling 
of the council of war in forty or fifty articles, relating to 
rations, forage, magazines, the marching of troops about the 
kingdom, with other details. He read the document article 
by article, on wliich each member of the Council gave liis 
opinion, making changes in several, which Villars wrote 
down on the margin. When the reading was finished, the 
regent told the mardchal to read over each article with the 
notes he had just appended, to see if all was clear, and 
whether it was necessary to add or to change. A''illars, who 
was next to me, read out the first article, but when it came 


to his notes he looked at them this way and that, turning in 
vain to the light, and finally asked me to look and see if I 
could make out what they meant. I laughed, and asked 
him if he thought I could do better than himself at his own 
writing, which he had just that moment written. Everybody 
laughed ; at which he was not in the least embarrassed. He 
proposed to send for his secretary, who was, he said, in the 
antechamber, and knew how to read his writing, because he 
was accustomed to it. The regent said that that could not 
be allowed ; and we all looked at each other, laughing, and 
not knowing how to get out of the difficulty. Finally, the 
regent said there was nothing to do but begin all over again ; 
and he ordered me to take a pen and write the notes and 
opinions as each one gave them ; which doubled, of course, 
the length of the affair. It is true it was only time ridicu- 
lously lost ; but the evil was much greater when the reports 
themselves came in, so long and so badly prepared that none 
of us could fully understand them, and, consequently, we 
could not wisely decide the matters they concerned. 

The Due d'0rl6ans was scarcely through the first em- 
barrassments in which he had allowed himself to be placed 
when another, of importance, arose. I shall 

Outbreak of the '■ 

princes of the merely note here the epoch of its beginning, 

blood against the , . , i p j_i ^ 

claims of the Due bccausc its consequeuccs are not ot the present 
du Maine. momcnt. The suit as to the inheritance of 

M. le Prince was still going on. In an affidavit which the 
Due du Maine was called upon to make he assumed the 
quality of prince of the blood, as he was authorized to do by 
the declaration of the late king, registered by parliament, 
which gave it to him, and permitted him to use it in all 
deeds and otherwise, both him and his children, and also the 
Comte de Toulouse. IVIme. la Duchesse and M. le Due, 
who had never dared breathe a word while the late king 


lived, made a great disturbance and declared that, whatever 
protection the Due du Maine assumed to draw from that 
declaration, it gave him no right to qualify as prince of the 
blood with the true princes of the blood, or to take any- 
judicial or legal action as such in a suit with them. They 
drew in the Princesse de Conti and her son to make common 
cause with them in this question, although the latter were 
united with M. and Mme. du Maine by community of interest 
in the suit against M. le Due for the inheritance of M. le 
Prince. The uproar was great ; the regent tried to pacify it ; 
we shall see the results hereafter. 

The Duchesse de Berry now established herself in the 
Luxembourg with her little Court. An effort was made to 
^^ ^ ^ ^ lodge us there conveniently, Mme. de Saint- 

The Duchesse de » •' 

Berry lodged at Simou, and mysclf ; but Mme. de Saint-Simon, 
who had never been able honourably to quit 
the Duchesse de Berry, seized this occasion to live as much 
apart from her as was possible. No place was found in the 
Luxembourg where we could be comfortably lodged to- 
gether and we therefore continued to live in our own house 
in Paris. The Duchesse de Berry insisted, however, that 
Mme. de Saint-Simon shoidd have a lodging at the Luxem- 
bourg ; but she did not furnish it or even set foot in it. She 
never went to the Duchesse de Berry in the mornings, unless 
there were audiences or some ceremony, but usually in the 
evenings, at the hour for cards, when ladies were not re- 
quired to present themselves in full dress, and were often 
retained to sup with the Duchesse de Berry. Mme. de Saint- 
Simon almost never supped there. "We had company every 
day to dinner and supper, as for years we had usually had. 
Very rarely she attended the duchess on her drives and visits, 
unless when she went to the king or to the theatre. Mme. de 
Saint-Simon was firm in maintaining this freedom, and with 


great and just reason, but she was treated invariably with the 
utmost consideration. When the duchess was at Saint-Cloud 
she always stayed with her, because she could not do other- 
wise. As for me, I behaved as usual. I never went more 
than twice a year to the Duchesse de Berry, for a moment 
each time, being always extremely well received. The mo- 
tives for this conduct have been seen elsewhere. 

On Monday, September 28, the first Coimcil of Eegency 
was held after dinner at Vincennes in the grand cabinet of 
First Council of the king ; and on this occasion the heads 
Regency. ^^^ prcsidcuts of all tlic othcr councils were 

allowed to be present. It was ruled that the Council 
should have four sittings a week, namely: Saturday, after 
dinner ; Sunday morning ; Tuesday, after dinner ; and 
Wednesday morning; that the members should consider 
themselves notified once for all of those four meetings ; but 
notice should be given of all extra meetings if the regent 
called them. It was also ruled on what days the head or 
president of each of the other councils should report its 
affairs ; that he should leave as soon as he had finished, 
whether the Council rose or not; and that all heads and 
presidents of councils should be summoned for extraordinary 
business whenever the regent thought proper. This first 
Council was chiefly passed in balloting ; it was not until the 
next meeting that it took up serious work, which then related 
to affairs of State. 

The council of finances had found its matters in a strange 
state. For one thing, there were due over sixteen hundred 
thousand francs to our ambassadors and those whom the late 
king had kept at foreign Courts ; most of whom had literally 
not enough money to pay the postage on their letters, having 
spent all they had ; this was a cruel discredit to us through- 
out all Europe. The financiers, however, had made their 


profit out of them to get all they wanted. Noailles and 
Eouill^ of the council of finances proposed to scrutinize their 
proceedings, which so terrified them that Pl(^noeuf, for one, 
disappeared and escaped into Italy. It would require a great 
knowledge of finances, a vast and correct memory, and whole 
volumes devoted solely to this matter to explain what was 
tried, abandoned, and accomplished in relation to it. This is 
a work beyond my powers and my tastes. I shall content 
myself with noting down the principal events in this line, 
leaving others more capable than myself to treat them 

Singular novelties were now seen at Court, which soon 
produced others that were still more strange. Nothing could 
Novelties at equal the pride of the Duchesse de Berry, as 

c°"rt- I have said and shown elsewhere, and her 

empire over the mmd of the Due d'Orl^ans continued the 
same, however undeserved. She took it into her head to 
want a captain of the guards. No daughter of France had 
ever had one. It was an honour unknown even to queen- 
mothers and queen-regents, until the last, the mother of 
Louis XIV., who had one. Madame had never dreamed of 
one. At first the Due d'Orl^ans resisted this fancy, but he 
soon yielded, though he ruled that Madame should have one 
too, as her rank was the same as that of the Duchesse de 
Berry. He engaged to pay the cost of the latter because 
Madame, whose household was large and her revenues not at 
all so, did not wish for such expense ; in fact she would not 
have a company of guards, but continued to use those of the 
Due d'Orl^ans. The Duchesse de Berry had very few guards, 
but she now set up a company, the lieutenancy of which she 
gave to Rion. I mention this trifling detail, because there 
will be some mention of Rion later on, and this was the first 
time anybody ever heard of him. 


The perpetual jaunts and parties of the Duchesse de Berry, 
either alone or with the Duchesse de Bourgogne at the be- 
ginning of her marriage, had obhged Mme. de Saint-Simon 
to ask for some rehef in attending her, and the king had 
allowed her to propose to the duchess four ladies-in-waitmg. 
In France vanity is contagious and spreads rapidly. The 
Duchesse d'Orl^ans, now wife of the regent, profited by that 
position to amalgamate herself (at least in this respect) with 
tlie daughters of France, and the Due d'Orl^ans was not a 
man to refuse her, though he cared nothing himself for the 
distinction. So she, too, obtained four ladies. 

Mme. la Duchesse, who had never been reconciled to 
seeing her younger sister raised so much above herself, 
could not long endure that the Duchesse d'Orleans should 
have ladies-in-waiting without having them herself. She 
found her commodities of this kind rather mixed, but 
among them were women who for their bread and their 
amusement desired nothing better. The phancy of the Due 
d'Orleans made him permit it, as he did other things ; after 
which, the remaining princesses of the blood had what they 



The late king had returned to his natural inclinations 
and his former principles about England after the death of 
The Scotch Queen Anne and the overthrow of all the 

project. persons who had her confidence and formed 

her council. The king, her successor, had replaced those in 
office whom she had displaced; the Whigs were in power 
and the Tories dismissed. Such changes cannot be exe- 
cuted, either in a government or in a nation naturally in- 
clined to factions, without producing a great number of 
malcontents of all kinds ; and all the more in this case 
because the new ministers and favourites breathed vengeance 
against those who had driven them out and taken their 
places during the last reign, and were determined to pursue 
and bring to trial those who had been most instrumental in 
making the peace, — to whom, therefore, France was under 
much obhgation. Scotland could not console itself for be- 
coming a mere province of England. The Duke of Ormond 
was hiding in Paris, while awaiting what the Earl of Mar 
could do in Scotland, where the party were stirring ; and 
the Pretender (to use the received term) was at Bar, waiting 
for some, not apparent, conjunction to cross the channel, 
certain of the protection of Louis XIV., and probably of that 
of the King of Spain. 

The death of the king, who entered secretly but with all 
his heart into this project, which might soon have been 
favoured by Sweden and Eussia, who were both anxious to 
end their war by a treaty of peace in this direction, discon- 


certed the Pretender's plan. The minority of the young 
king, with the interior of France left in the condition it 
was on the death of Louis XIV., was not the time for 
France to risk a rupture with England without being well 
assured of that which it was difficult to make sure of ; I 
mean a sudden and complete revolution, such as that which 
placed King William on the throne of his uncle and father- 
in-law. The late king had, as we have seen, left the throne 
of Philippe V. firmly secured, the union of the two crowns 
perfect, and both countries enjoying a peace with all Europe 
by the treaties of Utrecht and Baden. The regent was abso- 
lutely determined to preserve so necessary a blessing. 

Other circumstances kept him from lending himself to 
the project of the late king in favour of the Pretender. The 
The Earl of Earl of Stair had been sent to France by King 

^^^"^' George about a year before the death of the 

king, but without using his commission as ambassador, which 
he kept in his pocket. He was a very simple Scottish gentle- 
man, tall, well-made, slender, still quite young, holding his 
head high with a proud air. He had intellect, cleverness 
and craft ; active withal, well-informed, secretive, master of 
himself and his face, speaking readily in all characters as 
he judged them suitable. Under pretext of loving society, 
good living, and debauchery (which he never pushed far), 
he made acquaintances and procured intimacies which he 
put to use in serving his master and his own party also. 
His party was that of the Whigs and of all those whom 
King George had restored to power, and also of the family 
and friends of the Duke of Marlborough, w^hose creature he 
was, under whom he had served and who had procured him 
a regiment and the Scottish Order. 

Stair had seen from afar the threatening failure of the 
king's health. He perceived plainly that he had nothing to 


hope from the authority of the Due du Maine, which, if it 
prevailed, would follow the maxims and intentions of the 
king. He therefore felt very early that the only part to 
take was that of the Due d'Orl^ans who had the riu'ht on 
his side, to flatter him with assurances of his master's 
support if there were need to recognize his regency and the 
authority it conveyed, to enroll him, so to speak, early with 
King George by offers made in a period of doubt, by persuad- 
ing him that their interests were the same, and (to tell it 
frankly, for Stair was not afraid to let the actual phrase 
escape him) by suggesting the thought that two usurpers, 
such close neighbours, were bound to support each other 
mutually, through and against all ; for both were in the same 
case. King George with regard to the Pretender, the Due 
d'Orl^ans under the renunciations of the Kmg of Spain, if 
so weak and young a child as the successor of Louis XIV., 
should fail. 

The troubles of England w^ere increasing, and the Earl of 

Mar had successes in Scotland. Stair was wholly occupied 

in preventing France fi'om giving anv help to 

Stair urges the -^^ ° O O ^ r 

regent to arrest the Pretender and in stopping his passage 

the Preterider< 

across the kingdom if he tried to gain the 
shores of the channel. He had good spies ; and before long 
he heard that the prince was preparing to leave Bar, on 
wliich he rushed to the regent, demanding to have him 
arrested. Having reason to think that the regent was try- 
ing to gain time to see what would happen in England, he 
let his Eoyal Highness know that if he looked at these 
troubles with indifference England would do the same for 
whatever might come in France. These were the terms 
on which they were wdien, suddenly, the Pretender disap- 
peared from Bar, and Stair again came crying to the Due 
d'Orldans to stop his way through France and arrest him. 


The regent, who was cleverly swimming between two cur- 
rents, had promised the Pretender to shut his eyes, and so 
far favour the project, provided the move was made in the 
utmost secrecy. At the same time, he granted Stair's re- 
quest, and immediately despatched Contade, w^ho was devoted 
to him and very intelligent, the major of a regiment of 
guards, with orders to take his brother, a lieutenant in the 
same regiment and two sergeants of his own choice, and go 
to Chateau-Thierry, where Stair had positive knowledge the 
Pretender was to pass. Contade started on the night of the 
9th of November, fully determined, and instructed, to miss 
finding his man. Stair, who was only outwardly trustful, 
took other measures, which came very near succeeding ; and 
this is what happened. 

The Pretender started disguised from Bar, accompanied by 
three or four persons only, and came to Chaillot, where the 
The Pretender ^^^^G dc Lauzuu had a little old house that he 
escapes the as- jfj qq^ occupy. It was thcrc the Pretender 

sassins of Stair. 

slept and saw his mother, the queen, who was 
staying as she often did with the Filles de Sainte-Marie at 
Chaillot. From there he started, in Torcy's post-chaise, 
along the road to Alengon to embark from Bretagne. 

Stair discovered this proceeding, and resolved to neglect 
nothing to deliver his party once for all from this last rem- 
nant of the Stuarts. He despatched men silently along the 
different routes, giving that from Paris to Alen^on to Colonel 
Douglas, a half-pay officer in an Irish regiment in the French 
service, who, by reason of his name, his intelligence, his 
energy, and his intrigue, had insinuated himself in Paris. 
He was on a footing of consideration and familiarity with 
the regent and often came to my house ; he lived in the best 
company, had married on the frontier of Metz, was very poor, 
with much politeness, knowledge of the world, a reputation of 


great valour, and nothing about him to make any one sus- 
pect that he was capable of crime. 

Douglas put himself into a post-chaise with two valets 
and another man on horseback, all four armed to the teetli, 
and started slowly along the route to Alengon. Nonancourt 
is a little town about nineteen leagues from Paris on that 
road. Here he stopped, asked for something to eat at the 
post-inn, and inquired with great care about a post-chaise, 
which he described, together with those who escorted it, 
expressmg fears lest it had passed and that the people of the 
inn were deceiving him. The master of the post-inn was 
named Lospital. He was absent ; but his wife was there, who 
was, luckily, a very worthy woman, of intelligence, good sense, 
brains, and courage. Nonancourt is only five leagues from 
La Fert^ ; I therefore knew this post-mistress very well, and 
she has herself told me this whole adventure more than 
once. She tried in vain to get some light on the matter, 
which made her uneasy. All she could discover was that 
they were Enghsh and concerned in some violent action ; 
that their object, v/hatever it was, was important, and that 
they were planning some evil deed. She imagined that it 
related to the Pretender, and she resolved to save him ; 
arranging a plan in her head, which she was happily able 
to execute. 

In order to succeed she did all the two gentlemen wanted, 
and made them feel so secure of being duly warned that 
Douglas went off somewhere along the road, taking one valet 
with him. The other remained with the second gentleman 
on watch at the inn. She then made her plan. She asked 
the gentleman to drink, and gave him her best wine and 
kept him at table as long as she could, sending meantime 
a faithful servant to watch for the post-chaise ; her intention 
being to keep the man and the valet shut in, and to relay 


the chaise at the back of the house, where she kept her 
horses ready. But the chaise did not come, and the man 
got tired of sitting at table. She then persuaded him to lie 
down in one of the chambers and rely upon her and his 
valet to call him as soon as the chaise appeared. After 
which she slipped off to a fiiend in a side street, told her 
her adventure and suspicions, and made her promise to re- 
ceive the person she wanted to hide. She then sent for a 
priest, her relation, told him the story, and borrowed an 
abbd's suit and a priest's wig. That done, she went home, 
found the English valet watching on the steps, pitied his 
ennui, told him how good he was to be so faithful, gave him 
something to drink, and then by the help of a trusty hostler 
made him so drunk that he went to sleep under the table. 
Meantime she had turned the key gently on the English 
gentleman who was sleeping upstairs. 

Half an hour later the faithful man she had on the watch 
announced that the chaise was coming. Mme. Lospital 
went to meet it ; in it was King James ; she told him he 
was expected and would be lost if he did not take care ; but 
he must trust to her and follow her ; and in a minute she 
had him at her friend's house. There he heard what had 
happened, and they hid him as best they could with his 
three companions. After which Mme. Lospital returned 
home and sent for the officers of the law, to whom she told 
her suspicions of evil-dealing, and made them arrest the 
drunken valet and the gentleman who was asleep in the 
chamber. Then she despatched one of the postilions back 
to Torcy. Meantime the law proceeded, and a copy of the 
jjroces-verhal was sent to Court. Nothing can describe the 
rage of the English gentleman and his fury against the valet 
for getting druid^. As for Mme. Lospital, he would liave 
strangled her if he could, and she was long in terror of some 


ill-turn. King James remained three days at Nonancourt 
to let the noise die out, and then, dressed as an abb^, he 
continued his journey in another post-chaise and embarked 
in Bretagne for Scotland. 

Douglas returned to Paris, where the Earl of Stair made a 
great to-do about the Nonancourt adventure, which he treated 
with extreme audacity and impudence, as an attack against 
the rights of individuals. Douglas, who could not be igno- 
rant of what was said of him, had the equal audacity to go 
wherever he was accustomed, to the theatres, and even to 
present himself before the regent. Many persons closed 
their doors to him. He tried in vain to force mine, and even 
dared to complain to me about it. Soon after he disappeared 
from Paris, and I never knew what became of him. 

The Queen of England sent for Mme. Lospital to come to 
Saint-Germain, where she thanked her, caressed her as she 
deserved, gave her her portrait, and that was all. The regent 
did nothing for her. Long afterwards King James wrote to 
her, and sent her his portrait. Such is the indigence of de- 
throned kings, and their perfect forgetfulness of great perils 
and signal services. 

The Chevalier de Bouillon, who, since the death of the son 
of the Comte d'Auvergne, had taken the title of Prince 
Balls at the d'Auvcrgnc, proposcd to the regent to establish 

'^P"^- public balls at the Opera, masked or not 

masked, where the boxes would give every convenience to 
see the ball to those who did not wish to go upon the floor. 
It was thought that a public ball, guarded as the (_)pera is 
whenever open, would be safe from adventures, and would 
put a stop to the discreditable little balls all over Paris, 
wliere so many scandals happened. Those at the Opera 
were therefore established, with a grand concourse of people, 
and all the effect that had been proposed. The master of 


ceremonies had a salary of over six thousand francs, and a 
mechanism was admirably invented and very easily and 
rapidly worked to cover the orchestra, and floor the stage 
and the parterre at the same level. Unfortunately, the 
Opera was at the Polais-Eoyal, and the Due d'Orldans had 
only a step to go on leaving his suppers, so that he often 
showed himself at these balls in a very unsuitable condition. 
The Due de Is oailles, who was forever trying to pay court 
to him, was among the first to go so drunk that there was 
no indecency he did not commit there. 

The Due d'Orl^ans was very much bored at Vincennes ; he 
wanted to have the king in Paris. I had done what I could 
„ , to induce a return to Versailles. We were 

Reasons for 

keeping the Court there, alouc witli thc Court, away from the 
sort of world that never sleeps out of Paris, 
unless it goes to the country. Those who had business to 
attend to could find in an hour the persons they had to see ; 
whereas in Paris one had to go ten times and into all quar- 
ters of the city. Moreover, no one could have at Versailles 
the dissipation and loss of time to be found in Paris. But 
what I considered as more important still was the distance 
from the tumult of parliament, the markets, the vulgar life, 
and the adventures of a minority, such as Louis XIV. had 
met with, and which drove him furtively out of Paris on that 
eve of the Epiphany. I was spurred also to get the Due 
d'Orl^ans away from the pernicious company with whom he 
supped every evening, and from the state in which he showed 
himself at the Opera-balls, and his fatal loss of time at the 
theatres. But all this was precisely what attached him to a 
residence in Paris, from which I soon saw there was no way 
to drag him. He even made the doctors have a grand con- 
sultation about bringing the king to Paris from Vincennes ; 
but the Court doctors and those of Paris were agreed in this 


case, and declared that he ought not to be brought there till 
the first frosts had purified the air and extinguislied a great 
deal of sniall-pox of very dangerous type, which then pre- 
vailed in the city. 

It was, therefore, not until Monday, December 30, that 
the king left Vincennes, after his dinner, to come to Paris. 
The men charged with his education had already begun at 
Vincennes, where they had lodgings, to take care of them- 
selves. At the Tuileries the Marechal de Villeroy had a 
fine apartment, and presently took that of the queen ad- 
joining those of the king, and the Due du Maine had 
the beautiful rooms of the dauphins on the lower floor. 
M. de Frdjus had one above ; the sub-governors also. The 
city harangued the king on his arrival, and he found a 
great crowd in his apartment. Thus ended the year 

I had felt the supineness of the Due d'Orldans at the death 

of the king, not only in what concerned himself personally, 

1716. T'^^^t i'l many other matters, and I wanted to 

I wish to retire retire oucc for all I had therefore withdrawn 

from Court after . _ . . . , . 

the death of the to my own house and did not leave it. llie 
^^^- Due d'Orldans was troubled by this ; he wanted 

me not to be vexed, but without intending himself to do 
better. He sent the Abbd Dubois to me again and again, to 
conjure me to return to him, and not abandon him in this 
first crisis, to trust entirely to his friendship, his confidence, 
his gratitude, — in short, the finest messages in the world. I 
had great difficulty in lettmg myself — not be persuaded, but 
simply — yield to what was proper. He himself said stronger 
things to me personally, so that, in spite of myself, I was 
pledged again. This was before the formation of the coun- 
cils. I was not long in perceiving something worse than 


Parliament, led by d'Effiat and Canillac, prompted by the 

Due de Noailles and supported by the Due du Maine and 

the numerous group he had united with him 

The regent ° ^ 

deceived about Under the respectablc name of "noblesse," 
e par lamen . -^ggr^jj j^q^ ^q ghow its teeth to the regent, to 

fail to answer him, or even to obey him. It was not afraid 
to show scorn of a prince who treated it with timid caution 
produced by fears which it readily perceived. These magis- 
trates, guided by such hands, soon understood that they 
could do all they wished and risk nothing; that the 
regent, who coaxed them cautiously to get them to pass the 
edicts and declarations he wanted to make on matters of 
finance and government, would never compromise himself 
with them on any matter which did not bear upon his per- 
sonal wishes. It was in vain that I represented to his Eoyal 
Highness the public derision which the parliament made of 
his authority, and the danger of its resisting him hereafter 
about matters that would greatly embarrass him in carrying 
on the government, — and resisting him, too, whenever it 
pleased them so to do. What I told him was evident, and 
he was not long in meeting with a shameful experience of 
it ; but now I talked in vain ; I only made him despair at 
the excellence of my reasons, to which he could make no 
reply. His distrust persuaded him that I argued as a duke 
and peer, with that interest alone in view; his love for 
division, which he thought it well to keep up between the 
dukes and parliament and among the dukes themselves, and 
his weakness, increased by the pernicious counsels of Noailles, 
Besons, d'Effiat, Canillac, and others, all induced him to think 
he must manoeuvre cautiously if he wanted parliament to be 
favourable to his measures. People were not long in per- 
ceiving that he made it his policy, as much in general 
things as in special things, to excit(3 disputes ; and soon a 


favourite saying frequently escaped him as an admirable 
maxim of jDractice : Divide et regna. 

I was much surprised soon after the return from Vincennes 
to see the Due du Maine enter my room. He covered his 
M. du Maine embarrassment by an easy air, and, with great 

makes me a visit ^■, j_ ^^ t i. • s^ ^ -\ ti 

without any politeuess, talked to me as it we had never had 

cause for it. anything between us, but without saying a 

word about the past. No man knew better than he how to 
lead a conversation and all sorts of talk. He used that 
talent now with all his graces, and neglected nothing that 
could please me, but without touching for a moment on 
anything that interested either of us. I was forced, on my 
part, to try to pay him in the same coin. Though the game 
was not equal, I got myself fairly well out of it, with enough 
fine language and politeness to score nothing against me. 
This lasted more than half an hour tete-a-tete. It was the 
morning for the Council of Eegency, and not at all an hour for 
visits. This in itself seemed to me suspicious ; and after he 
had gone I felt myself doubly reheved in being delivered, 
and in finding his action was simply a visit. I told the 
regent of it a moment before the council began, and we 
laughed together over the fears of a man who had counted 
him for so little but a short time ago, and me, as was natural, 
for infinitely less. The regent, however, exhorted me to 
return the visit, as M. du Maine had made the first advance, 
and to show less stiffness and avoidance in my manner in 
those places where it was necessary we should meet. How- 
ever reasonable that counsel was, it cost me dear to follow it 
after all that had happened. I have never been false ; and 
it seemed to me falseness to live with the Due du Maine as I 
would with a man to whom I was indifferent. Nevertheless 
I yielded as much as I could to the demands of propriety 
■ — with rather bad grace, I believe, always avoiding as 


mucli as I could getting within reach of his conversation, 
and greatly annoyed by the prostitution of his bows and 
allurements, by which he constantly tried to please and 
win me. 

I chose the end of a morning to return his visit, in order 
to have a safe pretext not to see Mme. du Maine. I gained 
I return it and nothing by that. I was received with eager- 
\^ThJt7e^"^^' ^6ss and even with thanks. As I prepared to 
polite remarks. ^^j^g leave after making a very short visit, he 
said that Mme. la Duchesse du Maine would never forgive 
him if he let me go without seeing her. No matter what I 
said and did, he took me to her in spite of myself, and put 
me in a chair by her bedside. Her greeting was the same 
as his ; for the wife could do with herself and her tongue 
exactly what she pleased, and with no less grace and polite- 
ness, when she chose, than her husband. I rose to take 
leave; they both cried out that it was such a pleasure to 
them to see me that I must stay longer. And then, im- 
mediately, as if they feared to miss their chance, she began 
to speak of the quarrel between M. le Due and themselves. 
I tried to avoid entering on the matter, but she forced me 
to do so by questions, gently pushed on by the Due du 
Maine, so that I presently found myself on the witness 
stand, attentively looked at and listened to by a little group 
of men who were present. I finally got out of it by saying 
that M. du Maine (and consequently she herself) was well 
aware of what T thought on the subject, for I had more than 
once told him of it. 

T hoped to cut her short with this answer, which told all 
and explained nothing. But Mme. du Maine was not satis- 
fied. After joking M. du Maine for not telling her ever}^- 
thing, she asked me to speak more plainly. This made me 
inwardly angry. T then said that if she absolutely insisted 


on again hearing what I thought, I would obey her, pro- 
vided she would be good enough to remember that she com- 
manded me to do so. And thereupon I told her that I was 
quite content they should be princes of the blood with suc- 
cession to the throne, because with that the peers had no 
dispute; that as long as they held that position we had 
nothing to say against it ; but they must be careful to main- 
tain it ; because if they lost it we, the peers, would never 
permit an intermediary rank ; we should then do all that was 
possible to prevent them from standing between the princes 
of the blood and ourselves. They both, not seeing farther 
than their own thoughts, said I was right, and they had no 
reason to complain if we were satisfied with their present 
position. "But," added Mme. du Maine, "will you not 
excite the princes of the blood against us ? " " Madame," 
I replied, " it is not our affair ; it is that of the princes of 
the blood, who do not want our advice, and have never asked 
for it." I rung the changes thus on this delicate question. 
They were satisfied with what I said, because they wanted 
to be, and I was still more satisfied at having got out of the 
matter without being tripped up either way. 

After that wherever I met him the Due du Maine was sur- 
passingly polite, and I put the best face forward that I could, 
which, to tell the truth, was not too good a one, and always 
with great reserve, — never addressing, almost never ap- 
proaching him, and avoiding, as much as I decently could, 
allowing him to join me. 

I was not upon this tone with the Comte de Toulouse. He, 
as I have said elsewhere, was a very true and very worthy 
man. He had taken no part in the grandeurs which his 
brother had piled one upon another, like a Titan, to scale 
the skies. His manner of giving his opinion in Council, of 
seeking the good for good's sake, and right for the right's sake, 


had won me. I often saw him at the Duchesse d'Orl^ans', 
and I hved with him in perfect openness, and he with me ; 
which had come about reciprocally on both sides, without, 
however, leading to the confidences of intimate friendship, 
and without meeting at each other's houses ; but elsewhere 
every day, and always speaking very freely. My seat was 
next to his at the Council, where we talked freely, and some- 
times tete-cL-tete before and after the session. 

The Abb^ Dubois was very anxious to be counsellor of 
State for the Church, and he came to ask me to break the 
The Abbe Dubois ice for Mm with the regent. My frankness 
State fo°the could not be silent. I replied that I wished 

Church. iiini all sorts of good, but as for that place I 

begged him to look behind him and see if it suited him ; also 
to remember the vexation the other counsellors of State 
would feel ; and to see whether his attachment to the Due 
d'Orl^ans would allow him to bring down upon the regent 
the hatred of the whole Council and all the aspirants, and 
the spiteful offices which would certainly grow out of such a 
choice. He was rather surprised, but he had no real reply ; 
and we did not fail to separate on very good terms. Four 
days later he returned. " I have come," he said, trans- 
ported with joy, "to tell you I am counsellor of State." 
"My dear abbd," I rephed, "I am delighted, and all the 
more that I have had no part in it ; you are content and 
so am I. But take care of the consequences ; since the thing 
is done, hold yourself steady, and watch, but without being 
afraid." I embraced him and he went off quite satisfied 
with me. I did not say a word to the regent, nor he to 
me. My custom was never to speak to him of things done 
that I disapproved; his never to tell me of those he had 
done when he knew they were done unwisely. The conse- 
quences were such as I foresaw. There was no one, from 


the cliancellor to the lowest master of petitions, who did not 
feel himself personally affronted, and who did not show it. 
Neither they nor the other aspii-ants restrained their com- 
plaints or their remarks. The Abb^ Dubois, who thought 
only of himself, had what he wanted, and cared nothing for 
the uproar, nor for his master. 

The Duchesse de Berry profited by her position to usurp 
all the honours of a queen, in spite of the remonstrances of 
The Duchesse de Mmc. dc Saiut-Simou, wlio assured her of the 
Berry "suips clishkc that would f oUow such a course. She 

honours that she 

does not keep. drove about Paris with drums beating, and 
along the whole length of the quay of the Tuileries where 
the king was living. The next day the Mardchal de Villeroy 
carried his complaints to the regent, who promised him that 
so long as the king was in Paris no other drums should be 
heard but his, and ever after the Duchesse de Berry had 
none. After that she went to the theatre with a dais over 
her box, four of her guards on the stage, others in the pit, 
the hall more lighted than usual, and received an harangue 
before the play from the comedians. This made a great up- 
roar in Paris ; so much so that she dared not go to the the- 
atre again in the same way ; but in order not to back down, 
she renounced going to the play at all, and took a little box 
at the Opera, where she was scarcely seen and as if incognito. 
After many passing love-affairs, she became infatuated for 
good and all with Eion, a cadet of the house of Aydie, son 
of a sister of Mme. de Biron, who had neither 

Abandons herself 

to Rion ; who and figure uor miud. Hc was a short, stout, pale, 
w at e was. ^^^ puffy lad, with many pimples on his face, 
which made it look like an abscess. He had fine teeth, but 
never imagined he could cause a passion which, in very little 
time, became frantic and lasted ever after, — without, how- 
ever, hindering a few passing distractions and contrary loves. 


He had not a sou, but a great many brothers and sisters, who 
had none either. M. and Mme. de Pons (lady-in-waiting to 
the Duchesse de Berry) were related to him ; they brought 
him from the provinces, he being a lieutenant of dragoons, 
to try to make something of him. He had hardly arrived 
before the passion declared itself and he became the master 
of the Luxembourg. M. de Lauzun, whose great-nephew he 
was, laughed in his sleeve ; he was enchanted, and fancied 
himself back in the Luxembourg in the days of Mademoiselle ; 
and he gave his successor instructions. 

Eion was gentle and naturally polite and respectful, a good 
and honest lad. He felt that the power of his charms could 
only captivate the incomprehensible, depraved fancy of a 
princess. He did not abuse his position with any one, and 
made everybody like him, but Mme. la Duchesse de Berry 
he treated as Lauzun had treated Mademoiselle. He was 
soon adorned with the finest laces and the richest clothes, 
and heaped with money, boxes, jewels, and precious stones. 
He made himself desired; he amused himself by exciting 
the jealousy of his princess, and seeming himself still more 
jealous, so that he often made her weep. Little by little he 
put her on the footing of never daring to do anything with- 
out his permission, not even the most indifferent things. 
Sometimes, when she was ready to go to the Opera, he 
made her stay at home ; at other times he forced her to go 
where she did not wish, and to do kindnesses to ladies 
whom she hated and was jealous of, and incivilities to 
those she liked and of whom he pretended jealousy. 
Even in her dress she had no Hberty. He diverted him- 
self by making her pull down her hair or change her 
gown when she was all ready ; and this so often, and 
sometimes so publicly, that he brought her at last to take 
his orders over night for her dress and her occupations the 

VOL. IV. — 4 


next day ; but the next day he often changed everything, 
and the princess wept more than ever. !Finally, she had 
come to sending him messages by trusty valets (for he lodged 
at the gate of the Luxembourg), and her messengers went 
several times during her toilet to ask what ribbon, or gown, or 
ornaments he wished her to wear, and he usually made her 
take those that she did not wish herself. If sometimes she 
dared to assert her freedom in a trifling way, he treated her 
like a servant, and the tears lasted several days. This haughty 
princess, who took such pleasure in showing and exercising 
her excessive pride, degraded herself by taking her meals with 
him and with other obscure men like liimself ; she, with whom 
no man but a prince of the blood had a right to eat ! 

A Jesuit, named P^re Riglet, whom she had known as a 
child, and who ever since had cultivated her, was admitted 
to these private meals without being ashamed of it. Mme. 
de Mouchy was the confidant of these strange proceedings ; 
she and Pdon invited the guests and chose the days. La 
Mouchy frequently patched up the quarrels of the princess 
and her lover, who was also hers, though the princess did 
not dare to take notice of it for fear of losing a man so dear 
and a confidant so useful. The sinoular thing is that in the 
midst of this life she took an apartment at the Carmelite 
convent in the faubourg Saint-Germain, where she went 
sometimes in the afternoons, and always to sleep on festivals, 
sometimes remaining there several days. She took with 
her only two ladies ; never any serv^ants ; she ate with her 
ladies what the convent served to her, attended all the daily 
services in the choir, and often those at night ; and besides 
these services she continued long in prayer and fasted 
rigidly on the days of obhgation. 

Two CarmeHte nuns, women of much intelHgence who 
knew the world, were appointed to receive her and be con- 

■S/^^y /'f/r/f/',itdeyycce^ 




stantly near her. One was very beautiful, the other had 
been. They were both quite young, especially the handsome 
one, but excellent nuns and saintly women, who performed 
this duty very reluctantly. When they became more familiar, 
they spoke frankly to the princess, telling her that if they 
knew nothing but what they saw they should admire her as 
a saint ; but they knew in other ways that she led a strange 
life, and so publicly that they could not understand why she 
wanted to come and stay in their convent. The Duchesse 
de Beny laughed and was not displeased. Sometimes they 
lectured her, talked to her of people and things by their 
names, and exhorted her to change so scandalous a life ; all 
of which she repeated afterwards among her ladies. 

The Duchesse de Berry paid over to her father with usury 
the rough treatment and tyranny she bore from Eion, with- 
out his weakness allowing him to have less devotion, less 
compliance, or, it must be said, less submission and fear of 
her. He was miserable at the public reign of Eion and the 
scandal of his daughter's life, but he dared not say a word, 
and when at times some scene, both ridiculous and violent, 
between the princess and her lover came to the ears of the 
public, if the regent ventured to make some remonstrance 
he was treated like a negro, sulked at for several days, and 
not allowed to make his peace. There w^as never a day, 
however, that father and daughter did not see each other, 
and chiefly at the Luxembourg. It is time now to speak of 
the public and private occupations of the regent, of his 
conduct, his parties, and his daily life. 

All his mornings were given up to public business, and 

each division of it had its regular days and hours. He 

becjan work alone, before dressing : received 

Daily life and ^ _ _ ® ' 

personal conduct pcoplc at liis Icver, which was short, and was 
followed by audiences on which he wasted 


time. After that he received successively until two o'clock 
those who were more directly charged with the various 
matters of business, such as the heads of councils ; Le 
Blanc (whom lie used frequently for espionage) ; those 
with whom he worked on the Unigenitus affairs ; those of 
the parliament ; often Torcy about the post ; sometimes 
Villeroy to paw the ground and make a show ; once a week 
the foreign mmisters ; besides all this, he attended the 
councils, and mass in his chapel privately on feast-days and 
Sundays. At first he rose early, a habit which slackened, 
little by little, and grew tardy and uncertain, according to 
the hour when he went to bed. At half-past two he took 
his chocolate in public and talked with the company. He 
then returned to his cabinet and gave audiences to men and 
women ; after which he went to the Duchesse d'Orl^ans, or 
the Council of Regency, and always to the king, whom he 
approached and addressed and quitted with hows and an air 
of respect, which pleased the little king and taught manners 
to those about him. After the Council, that is, about five 
o'clock, there was no further question of business. He went 
either to the Opera or the Luxembourg, or to the Duchesse 
d'Orl(^ans, or out by the back way ; or else he received his 
company by the same way. In summer he drove to Saint- 
Cloud and other country-places ; if Madame was in Paris he 
saw her a moment before his mass, and when she was at 
Saint-Cloud he went to see her and always paid her great 
attention and respect. 

His suppers were in very strange company, — that of his 
mistresses, sometimes an opera-girl, often the Duchesse de 
Berry and a dozen men, first one set, then others, whom he 
never called otherwise than his roues, together with certain 
ladies of medium virtue but belonging to the great world, 
and a few obscure persons, obscure as to name, but brilHant 


for their mind or their debauchery. The exquisite food 
served was cooked in places arranged for the purpose ex- 
pressly on the same floor, and always with silver utensils ; 
the company lending a hand quite often to the cooks. At 
these suppers everything and everybody was reviewed — min- 
isters and favourites as much as the rest — with a freedom 
which was really unbridled license. Gallantries past and 
present of the Court, old gossip, disputes, jokes, sarcasms — 
no person and no thing was spared. The Due d'Orleans held 
up his corner with the rest ; but it is also true that it was 
very seldom indeed that any of these tales made the slightest 
impression upon him. The company drank, grew heated, and 
said vile things at the tops of their voices, rivalhng one 
another in impious remarks, and when they had made a vast 
deal of noise and were dead drunk they went to bed and 
began it all over again the next day. The moment the hour 
came for these suppers to begin, all was so barricaded against 
the outside world that no affair could enter, and it was use- 
less to try to reach the regent. I am not speaking only of 
private matters, but of those most vitally important to the 
State and his own person ; and this embargo lasted till the 
next morning. 

One thing was very extraordinary about the regent: 
neither his mistresses, nor the Duchesse de Beny, nor his 
roues, even in his drunken moments, ever learned anything 
from him, whether of much or of little importance, about 
the government and public matters. He hved openly with 
Mme. de Parab^re, and was living at the same time with 
others ; he amused himself with the jealousy and spite of 
these women ; but he was none the less on good terms with 
all of them, and the scandal of this public harem, and that 
of the filth and impiety of his nightly suppers was extreme, 
and spread everywhere, 


Lent had begun, and I foresaw a dreadful stigma or else a hor- 
rible sacrilege at Easter which would only increase the already 
Religious enor- terrible scandal. It was this that made me 
™'*'"- resolve to speak to the Due d'0rl(5ans, though 

I had long kept silence as to his debaucheries, having lost all 
hope about them. I told him, therefore, that the straits 
where Easter would place him seemed to me so terrible as 
regarded God, so grievous in regard to the world, which likes 
to do evil itself but thinks it bad in others, especially in its 
masters, tliat, against my resolutions, I could not abstain 
from representing to him the consequences. He listened 
patiently, and asked what I wished to propose to him. I 
told him it was only an expedient, which would not remove 
the scandal, but lessen it and prevent an excess of indigna- 
tion which he must otherwise expect. It was simply to go 
and pass at his country-house at Villers-Cotterets the five 
last days of Holy Week, and Easter Sunday and Monday ; 
to take with him no ladies or roues, but half a dozen persons 
whom he liked, of good reputation, with whom to talk and 
amuse himself ; to eat maigre, in which he could have just 
as good eating as in gras ; not to talk loosely at table, or 
sit there too long ; to go to service on Good Friday and to 
high-mass on Easter-Sunday ; and that was all I asked of 
him. He took the advice in good part ; in fact, it comforted 
him, for he did not know what I might propose ; he thanked 
me for having thought of the expedient, and was really per- 
suaded that the trip was wise and that he ought to make it. 
The misery was that the good he resolved upon was so 
seldom executed, because of the scoundrels with whom he 
surrounded himself. This was just what happened now. 
At the first word he uttered about it his mistresses and 
roues took alarm, and the worthy group so worked on his 
facile nature that the trip was abandoned. When I took 


leave of him to go to my own estate I conjured him to 
restrain himself on the four holy days, namely, Thursday, 
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ; and above all things, not to 
commit the gratmtous sacrilege of taking the sacrament, 
which would injure him more with the world which he ex- 
pected to conciliate than his abstention, because his life would 
soon and very publicly give the lie to it. 

Thereupon I went off to La Fertd, hoping to have, at least, 
warded off the worst. I had the grief to learn that after 
passing the last days of Holy Week worse than equivocally, 
though with more concealment than usual, he had been to 
nearly all the frmctions of those days, and on Easter-Sunday 
had heard high mass at Sainte-Eustache, his parish church 
where with great pomp and ceremony he had taken the 
sacrament. Alas ! it was the last communion of this un- 
happy prince ; and it resulted, as regards the world, precisely 
as I had warned him. Let us leave so sad a matter and 
turn to those that were happening elsewhere. 

We have seen the beginning of the Scotch project, the 
secret journey of the Pretender to embark in Bretagne and. 
Cabal which ^^ Bscapc from the assassins of Stair. This 

reTe^t'lo Eng! projcct had bccu rcsolvcd upon with the late 
'and. king and with the King of Spain, who agreed 

between them to pay the costs. The death of Louis XIV. 
was therefore, from this point of view, one of the greatest 
misfortunes of James III. The memory of the king was 
still too recent at the time of this secret journey for France 
to seem to have changed in sentiment. He was therefore 
allowed to go on, but without the intention of giviner him 

O ^ Oft 

any help, unless encouraged to do so by a sudden revolution 
in Great Britain. I, myself, was thoroughly Jacobite, and 
fully persuaded that the interest of France was to give 
England a long-protracted domestic occupation, wliich should 


put her out of condition to think of foreign affairs and of 
encroaching upon the commerce of S]3ain and our own. 
Nor had we a less interest in keeping out of relations with 
the King of England, who by his States and his interests in 
Germany was more German than English, and always in 
fear and in leading strings and, as much as he could be, in 
union with the emperor. 

Thinking as I did about England, I could not like an 
alHance with his ambassador, which a triumvirate formed of 
Noailles, Canillac, and the Abbd Dubois, seeking to turn the 
regent toward King George, pressed upon the former by an 
arugment that was purely selfish, consequently detestable, 
namely: that King George was a usurper of the crown of 
Great Britain, and, if any misfortune happened to the young 
king, the Due d'Orldans would be the usurper of the crown 
of France ; consequently, the same interest was in both, and 
this was a reason to cultivate each other, and so guarantee 
their mutual crowns and avoid any step which should part 
them from this one grand object ; whereby, they added, the 
French prince gained all that could insure his hopes, while 
the Enghsh king, being in possession, gained almost nothing. 
Moreover, they added, the latter had to do with a Pretender 
without friends or help, while the Due d'Orldans, should the 
case occur, would have as competitor the powerful King of 
Spain, a country conjoined to the coasts of France by sea 
and land. 

The Due d'OrMans swallowed this poison, offered with 
great adroitness by persons on whose intelhgence, capacity. 
The Due and personal attachment he believed he ought 

d'Orleans never ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^j^^ prOVCd tO Hm iu the Cud 
desired the ' ■•■ 

crown. that their mtelKgence was unsound, their capa- 

city nought, their attachment worthless and solely concerned 
with themselves. The prince had too much penetration not 


to perceive the trap ; but the wonder is the thing that 
seduced him, namely : the tortuous course of such policy, 
and not in the least the desire to reign. I fully expect that 
if these Memoirs ever see the light, this statement will 
create a laugh and discredit my other statements, and make 
me pass for a great fool, if I expect my readers to beheve 
it ; or for an imbecile if I beheve it myself. Yet such is the 
simple truth ; to which I sacrifice what may be thought of 
me. However incredible it may appear, it is true. I dare to 
advance the opinion that there are many such truths ignored 
in histories, which would amaze the world could they only 
be known, and which are unknown solely because so few 
histories are written at first hand. 

I repeat it, and I owe it to the truth which reigns in these 
Memoirs, that never did the Due d'Orldans desii'e the crown ; 
he desired most sincerely the king's hfe ; he did more, he 
desired that he should reign for himself, as we shall see in 
the sequel. Never of himself did he think of the king's life 
failing, nor of the things that might follow that misfortune, 
which he regarded most honestly as such, and as a misfor- 
tune for himself should it ever occur. The most that he 
did was to lend an ear to reflections about it which others 
presented ; he was utterly incapable of thinking of it him- 
self or of the measures to be taken should that contingency 
arrive. I do not say that if it an-ived he would have 
abandoned the right given to him by the mutual renun- 
ciations and guaranteed by all Europe ; but I do say 
that possession of the crown was to him the smallest con- 
sideration in that phase of the matter; and that honour, 
courage, and his own safety would have had by far the 
largest share. I say again : these are truths which my 
perfect knowledge, my conscience, and my honour oblige 
me to report. 


The regent could not long hide from me the strong in- 
clination he had taken towards England. 1 approved of it 
np to a certain point, to preserve the peace 

I urge upon the ^ -, ■ o -r^ i i 

regent a union wliich thc cxhaustion of Jb rancc and a long 
with Spain. mmority needed so sorely, and also to restrain 

the too dangerous leaning of King George to the emperor. 
But I could not approve of any dispositions going farther 
than that. I repeated to the regent what I had often said 
to him, and had also stated more than once before the Coun- 
cil of Eegency, namely, that the essential interest of the 
State was in a solid and unalterable union with Spam. I 
also urged, when the regent and I were tUc-tt-tUe (as we 
usually were), that after the attack upon him in Spam, and 
his reconciliation with the king, together with his personal 
position in relation to the renunciations, nothing could 
turn personally more to his good or more to his harm 
in France and throughout all Europe than to treat Spain m 
the manner I proposed or the reverse. I dwelt on the fact 
that to Eome (which in those days was still the centre 
of affairs) and to all the other Courts as well, the inter- 
ests of the two branches of the house of Austria had never 
ceased to be equally strong, even to the domestic and inter- 
nal affairs of the empire; that nothing could touch the 
one that the other did not incontinently intervene, as was 
shown in aU the general and special treaties, so that the rest 
of Europe had long given up wishing to disunite them and 
only thought now of protection against them. I told him 
that this was the model we ought to follow if we wished to 
prosper both within and without the kmgdom, and so raise 
ourselves to the point of becommg the dictators of Europe, 
as the house of Austria had so long been, — even after it had 
tacitly renounced universal sovereignty, to which it felt, at 
last, it could never attain. 


I entreated the regent to remember that the true enemies 
of France were the house of Austria and the English ; that 
the knowledge he had of history did not show him anything 
else than their hatred and jealousy of the sole crown that 
could arrest their ambition ; that these passions had taken 
a fresh increase through the rivalry of Charles V. and 
FranQois I., and from the vain efforts of Phihppe II., in the 
days of the League; and since then, as regarded England, 
by the irreconcilable hatred of the late king for the Prince 
of Orange, the effects of which had been felt throughout all 
Europe, and by the protection given to James II. and his 
family, and the recognition of James III., in spite of the 
solemn engagements of the Peace of Eyswick, which King 
Wilham, dying as he was, had made use of to unite all 
Europe against France, and to rouse the hatred of Enghsh- 
men into fury. I begged him to consider that although a 
cabal of women at the Court of Queen Anne had saved 
France from fatal disaster by separating England from her 
allies, he ought to see that the treaties of peace that foUowed 
were only the work of a Court cabal, which found them for 
its own interests, in spite of the nation and even against the 
majority of the Court. 

The regent, who Ustened to me with great attention, had 
nothing to. oppose to the force of these natural arguments. 
He agreed to the principles and the facts. He assured me 
that his intention was to ally himself as much as he could 
with Spain ; but that this resolution ought not to be allowed 
to penetrate the mind of Spahi, governed as it was by an 
ambitious queen and a very dangerous minister [Alberoni], 
who could turn the King of Spain to act as they pleased, 
and were very capable of abusing this knowledge.^ Still 

1 Saint-Simon's record of the Ilcgency is largely made up of the history 
and intrigues of the Court of Spain ; it would be impossible to make a 


less was it desii-able to show this resokition to England 
and the other powers, as it would only produce a coohiess 
towards us, redouble their jealousy and their efforts to divide 
us from Spain, and convince them that we were always 
considering them as enemies. He went on to say that such 
cautious management was all the more necessary because, 
as I knew very well, the great maxim of the Court of Vienna, 
especially since the Peace of Eyswick, was an indissoluble 
alliance with the maritime powers, like that already formed 
by King William between England and Holland, which com- 
mercial jealousy had never been able to shake, — an alliance 
which the emperor, being master of the empire, could force 
to take up arms without other cause than his will and 
personal interests. 

I agreed with the regent as to the solid value of the 
precaution he proposed, provided it was only a precau- 
tion, and that he would agree to hold to the maxims I 
had just suggested. He assured me that that was his firm 
intention ; and the conversation finished thus, — turning 
finally on the mystery and caution with which he ought to 
aid the Pretender, now landed in Scotland, concealing the 
help he gave him in thickest darkness, unless he met with 
some unhoped-for and rapid success. Nevertheless, the 
regent had not the strength to shake off that pernicious 
idea of two usurpers which had been inculcated in him, nor 
to resist the continual talk of those three men, who in 
concert with one another — sometimes together, sometimes 
separately — kept always at him and put constant obstacles 
in the way of everything that did not suit their views with 
regard to Stair and England. I often had bouts with the 
regent about it. If I had not known his feebleness, I might 

clear and comprehensible abridgment of them, and therefore that part of 
the Memoir is chiefly omitted. — Tr. 


often have hoped to make him change his course ; but I 
was only one against three, whose successive assiduity easily 
knocked over all that I said, demonstrated, and even con- 
vinced him of ; so that the regent was invariably hooked 
in by them as he floated, against his inclination. He in- 
demnified himself for this by jests and taunts upon them, 
to which Dubois was accustomed, and ISToailles only shook 
his ears ; but Canillac's pride was often wounded. The 
regent let him sulk, laughed, and presently coaxed him, so 
much had that man's pompous jargon accustomed the regent 
to consider him. 

Stair and the Nuncio Bentivoglio were two rascals, who 

to advance their own fortunes held nothing sacred, and 

were now working for the overthrow of 

Rascality of " 

Stair and Francc ; and if either of the two was more 

Bentivoglio. i i i 

corrupt, blacker, and a greater scoundrel than 
the other, it was Bentivoglio. Both were public impostors 
taken almost in the act, and so well-known and dishonoured 
even in their own Courts that their recall could not have 
been refused if asked for vigorously. But the regent kept 
these firebrands near him under the name and character of 
Pope's nuncio and English ambassador, — the two greatest 
enemies that France and his person could have had. We 
shall see a few traits of that infamous nuncio, who was not 
ashamed to keep an opera girl, by whom he had two 
daughters, so publicly known as such that they went by 
the names of Unigenitus and Legend. If I were to swell 
these memoirs with the details of what passed concerning 
the bull during the regency and the nunciature of Bentivoglio 
it is not employing too strong a term to say — and say 
to its fullest extent — that the reader's hair would stand on 
end at the recital of the daily conduct of Bentivoglio. He 
was sustained by the former Bishop of Troyes, who had 


thought very differently in other days, though now his 
friends the Mar^chal de Villeroy, the Eohans, and others of 
the cabal had turned him round, he supposing it made him 
more in the fashion on one side, and more important on the 

This party, immediately after the death of the king, had 
endeavoured to win me over, or at any rate not to have me 
The party of the agaiust them. They were not ignorant of my 
unigenitus make ge^timonts through Pfere Tellier, from whom I 

me an odious " 

proposition. had never hidden them. Cardinal de Bissy, 

and, some time after, the Prmce and the Cardinal de Eohan, 
both together, talked to me. I replied, civilly and modestly, 
that I was not a bishop, neither was I learned or a theo- 
logian ; and on that line I beat a retreat. It did not satisfy 
them. The Due de La Force, who was devoted to the Jesuits 
from the time of his conversion, was despatched to me to 
make a last effort. For myself, I should have raised no 
standard in this affair. I restrained myself within the bounds 
that were proper to a man who could speak and give his opin- 
ion in the Council of Eegency, or in private to the regent ; 
but they knew, from the days of the late king, what they 
could count on as to me, and they were alarmed by my in- 
timacy with Cardinal de Noailles. La Force argued with me 
on the grounds of the matter. He knew, and expressed very 
well what he knew ; but as policy was his religion, and in 
order to convince me he had to be convinced himself, it 
is no wonder that he did not succeed. 

At an end, finally, of his reasons and reasonings, he began 
upon the regent's interest, present and future, implicating 
Eome, the Jesuits, and most of the bishops, and spread him- 
self upon that. But as politics and self-interest can never 
take the place of religion and truth, his policy was as vain 
with me as his doctrine. Not knowing what to do further, 


lie came at last to the argument ad hominem, from which, as 
I heard afterwards, he and those whom he served hoped 
much. He said he must own to me that he did not under- 
stand me, and that he could not reconcile my opinions with 
my conduct; that I was openly the enemy of the Due de 
JSToailles, never sparing him and never being moved by all he 
did to soften me ; that I even piqued myself upon this ; that 
I ran a tilt against him at every meeting of the Council of 
Eegency and wherever else I met him ; but that while I did 
not hide my desire to ruin him I neglected the sure and cer- 
tain means I had in hand, and contmued to be the friend and 
supporter of the Cardinal de Noailles. I asked La Force 
what was this sure and certain means that I had of destroy- 
ing the Due de Noailles, and assured him that he would do 
me the greatest pleasure if he would tell me. " Destroy his 
uncle," he repKed. " You can do it by simply supporting the 
other side. The uncle lost, the nephew necessarily falls with 
him, and you are avenged." Horror made the blood rush into 
my face. " Monsieur," I said angrily, " is that how matters 
of religion are treated ? Convince yourself once for all, and 
tell it flatly to your friends, that however certain I might be 
of causins; the total and irrevocable fall of the Due de Noailles 
by pulhng a single hair from the head of his uncle, he would 
Hve in safety from me. No, monsieur," I added with mdig- 
nation, "I admit that there is nothing honourable that I 
would not do to crush the Due de Noailles, but he may 
live and reign two thousand years before I would kill him 
through the body of the cardinal." La Force seemed con- 
founded, and after that answer he never tried to persuade 
me again. I never told this to the Cardinal de Noailles, or 
to any one who might repeat it to him. 

The Duchesse de Berry, who lived in the manner I have 
already explained, chose apparently to spend the summer 


nights in the garden of the Luxembourg in perfect liberty. 
Accordingly she had all the gates walled up, and kept none 
The Duchesse de opcu, except that of the iron railing at the 
Berry walls up ^ ^^ ^^ ^j^^ stalrcase in the middle of the 

the garden of the 

Luxembourg. palacc. This garden, public at all times, was 
the resort of the entire faubourg of Saint-Germain, which was 
thus deprived of it. M. le Due immediately threw open the 
gardens of the hotel de Cond(5 and made them public, for a 
contrast. The uproar was great, and the remarks unreserved 
as to the reasons for this closure. The princess was also 
much annoyed at having to wear mourning. The merchants 
of stuffs seized the moment to induce her to ask the regent 
to shorten the regulated periods of mourning, which he did 
with his usual persuadability, so that now such garments are 
scarcely worn for the nearest relatives, and may be worn for 
those who are not relations at all, with the utmost inde- 
cency. But, as the bad always lasts longer than good, this 
shorteninfT of mourning is the one sole regulation of the 
regency which exists in the present day. 


Pakliament persisted in opposing two of the regent's 
edicts : namely, those of erecting the two offices of grand- 
„ ,. master of posts and superintendent of build- 

Parliament -^ •*■ 

opposes the edicts ings. They pretended that, these offices hav- 

of the regent. . , t t i 

mg been suppressed, and the suppression 
enregistered with a clause that they should not be re-estab- 
lished, they were forced to reject them. It was not that the 
matter was of interest to themselves or to the people, nor yet 
to the State ; but this assembly wanted to figure, to make 
itself of importance, to be reckoned with ; and it could only 
do this by fighting and by dehberate opposition, for which 
it lost no occasion. It had sounded the regent and then 
fathomed him ; his weakness assured it of success. He was 
surrounded by enemies who kept him, in a way, in awe of 
them, and who, with far less muid and knowledge than him- 
self, deceived and fooled him, they being allied with the par- 
liament, which, in turn, had the bastards with it, and held 
the princes of the blood in check. These enemies were : the 
Mardchal de Villeroy, whose head had been turned by hear- 
ing conversations about the Memoirs of Cardinal de Eetz 
and Joly, which were then extremely in vogue, and who 
wanted to be another Due de Beaufort, leader of the Fronde, 
king of the hcdles and of Paris, the supporter of parliament ; 
d'Effiat, friend of Villeroy and the Due du Maine, who had 
long ago sold his master and found it profitable to negotiate 
between liim and parhament; P>esons, a dull fool, though 
marslial of France, who had put himself under d'Effiat's 

VOL. IV. 5 


tutelage ; Canillac ; Noailles, of whom the regent was in 
mortal terror as to his management of the finances, and who 
was delighted to take part in the negotiations with parlia- 
ment, and see troubles arise that would make him necessaiy ; 
Huxelles, the intimate friend of the president, whose theme 
with the regent was the necessity of a good understanding 
with parUament in order to restrain it in ail matters relating 
to the bull and Eome ; and finally, Broghe, Noc^, and other 
little fellows, taught by the rest, or by their own intimates, 
to shp in their word d, propos. Thus, first on one matter, then 
on another, the struggle increased, strengthened itself, grew 
heated, and finally brought things, as we shall see, to the 
edge of the precipice. 

I had talked against all this with an infinite number of 
arguments ; the weakness and fears of the regent set them- 
selves up against all that I could say to him. In the end, I 
declared to him that I washed my hands of what would 
happen to him through the misery of his conduct with par- 
liament, the audacity of the performances of that body, the 
rascality of the men who surroimded him, who had flung 
their grapnel on him, and whom he was loading with kind- 
ness, confidence, and favours, while they were selling him to 
their own interests and views, and to the parhament. I 
added that I would never again, in all my hfe, speak to him 
of anything relating to the parliament ; but I predicted, and 
begged him to remember it, that he would not go far before 
matters reached a point between him and that body at which 
he would find himself forced either to yield all authority to 
it, and all exercise of the regency, or have recourse to violent 
measures that were dangerous. I kept my word; and we 
shall see by and by what happened. 

He had at that time a matter to bring forward which all 
these men were using to make him docile towards parliament. 


A Scotchman, of I know not what station, a great gamester 

and a great combiner, who had won immensely in all the 

Law, called Lass ; countries hc had visited, came to France in 
his bank. ^i^Q j,^g|. jjjQ^ti^s ()f ^i^g lo^^Q kmg's rclgn. His 

name was Law ; but after he became well known people were 
so accustomed to call him Lass that his real name of Law 
disappeared. Some one spoke of him to the Due d'Orldans as a 
man profoundly versed in matters of banking, commerce, the 
movement of money, currency, and finances. This gave the 
prince a desire to see him. He received him several times, 
and was so pleased that he spoke of him to Desmarets (then 
minister of finance) as a man from whom he could get ideas ; 
and I remember that he often talked of him to me at that 
time. Desmarets sent for Law, who was with him a long 
while on various occasions ; but I never knew what passed 
between them or what resulted from these interviews, ex- 
cept that Desmarets was pleased and felt some esteem for 

At that time the Due d'Orleans only saw him now and 
then ; but after the first opening of affairs on the death of the 
king was over. Law, who had made acquaintance with the sub- 
ordinates of the Palais-Eoyal and some alliance with the Abb^ 
Dubois, presented himself again before the Due d'Orldans, 
and soon after saw him in private and proposed to him his 
financial scheme. The regent made him work with the Due 
de Noailles, Ilouilld, and Amelot, the latter on the question 
of commerce. The first two were afraid of an intruder put 
by the hand of the regent into their administration, so that 
he was long bandied from pillar to post, though always sup- 
ported by the regent. In the end, the idea of the bank 
project became so pleasing to the prince that he resolved to 
carry it out. He spoke privately to all the leading men of 
finance, in whom he found great opposition. He had often 


talked to me about it, and I had contented myself with 
simj)ly listening to a matter that I have never hked and con- 
sequently never understood; the accomphshment of which, 
moreover, seemed to me very far off. When the regent had 
fully made up his mind, he called an assembly of financial 
and commercial leaders, at which Law explained the whole 
plan of the bank which he proposed to estabhsh. He was 
listened to as much as he wished. Some, who saw that the 
regent had almost determined on the scheme acquiesced; 
but the greater number opposed it.^ 

1 Extract from the minutes of this meeting, held Oct. 24, 1715, for tlie 
institution of the Bank of Law : " The idea of this bank is to transfer 
all the revenues of the king to the bank ; to give the receivers and farm- 
ers-general notes of ten crowns, a hundred crowns, a thousand crowns of 
the weight and standard coin of the present day ; which shall be called 
hank-hills; the said bills shall be conveyed by the said receivers and 
farmers-general to the royal treasury, winch shall return to them nego- 
tiable receipts [quittances comptables]. All those to whom payments are 
due by the king will receive at the royal treasury only bank bills, the 
value of which they can immediately go to the bank and receive, no one 
being forced to keep them or to receive them in commerce ; but the Sieur 
Lass asserts that tlie convenience will be such that every one will be 
charmed to have these bank bills rather than money, because of the facil- 
ity of making payments in paper, and the certainty of receiving the value 
whenever they wish. He adds that it will be impossible ever to have 
more bills than money, because the bills will only be made pro rata to 
coin ; and by tliis means all costs of remittance, the danger of convey- 
ances, the multiplicity of clerks, etc., will be avoided." 

After opinions had been given by all present the regent said that 
" he liad come there persuaded that the bank ought to be established ; 
but, after the opinions he had just heard, he agreed wliolly with that 
of M. le Due de Noailles ; and it would be announced to every one that 
same day that the bank would not be carried out." 

John Law was born in Edinburgh in April, 1671. Through his, 
Jane Campbell, he belonged to the family of the Dukes of Argyll. His 
father was a rich banker in Edinburgh and possessed the manorial estates 
of Lauriston and Randlestone. The above statement of tlie banking sys- 
tem does not fully set forth John Law's theory, winch was " to base paper 
money on some other article of value tlian specie, and not redeemable in 
specie, but which shnll maintain an equality in value with specie;" and 
also " that a commodity may be purchased and its price be retained." 


Law was not disheartened. People talked a little French 
under their breaths ; the same assembly was called again, 
and, in presence of the regent, Law again explained his proj- 
ect. This time there were few to oppose him, and those few 
feebly. The Due de Noailles dared not hold to his opinion, 
as he was urged to do by the Mar^chal de Villeroy, who 
always wanted to thwart the regent and had no other reason, 
for he knew nothing about finances or anything else ; in 
consequence of which he usually gave his vote in council in 
two words, or if, very rarely, he had to say more he brought 
his opinion on a little sheet of paper, and when it was his 
turn to speak he would put on his spectacles and read off 
hastily the five or six lines he had written. I never saw 
him explain his opinion in any other way ; and in this way 
not more than four or five times at most. The bank was 
thus approved, and it now became necessary to propose it to 
the Coimcil of Eegency. 

The regent took the trouble to explain the matter in pri- 
vate to every member of the Council and to let him gently 
understand that he wished the bank to pass without opposi- 
tion. He talked it out with me fully ; and I was forced to 
reply. I told him that I did not conceal my ignorance or 
my distaste for financial matters ; yet all that he had now 
explained seemed to me good in itself, in so far that without 
levy, without costs, and without causing harm or embarrass- 
ment to any one, money could suddenly be doubled by the 
bills of this bank, and become portable with great ease ; but 
that I saw two drawbacks to that advantage : first, to govern 

This theory had already been rejected by the Scotch parliament. The 
speculation of tlie Mississippi, by which he ruined himself and France was 
only an incidental circumstance in his career, at the close of it. See 
" Kechcrclies Ilistoriquos sur lo S^'steme de Law," par M. Lovassour; and 
" Histoire du systeme de finances pendant les annc'cs 1719 et 1720," par 
Duhautchamp. — Tu. 


the bank with enough foresight and wisdom not to make 
more bills than they ought, in order to be always above their 
resources and so be able to boldly face all contingencies and 
pay coin to every one who might ask it for the bills they 
brought ; second, that what was excellent in a republic, or 
in a monarchy where finance is wholly popular as it is in 
England, became dangerous in an absolute monarchy like 
that of France, where the necessities of war ill-undertaken 
and ill-sustained, the rapacity of ministers, favourites, mis- 
tresses, the luxury, extravagant expenditure, and prodigahty 
of a king might soon exhaust a bank, ruin the holders of 
bills, and overthrow the kingdom. The Due d'Orldans agreed 
to all this but insisted that a king would have so great and 
essential an interest in never injuring, or letting minister, 
favourite, or mistress injure the bank that this great danger 
need never be feared. On that point we disputed long with- 
out in the least convincing each other, so that when, a few 
days later, he proposed the bank to the Council of Regency, 
I gave my opinion as I have now explained it, but with more 
force and at greater length ; and I concluded by voting to 
reject the bank as a fatal temptation in an absolute mon- 
archy, although in a free country it might be a very good and 
wise establishment. 

Few present dared to be of that opinion ; the bank was 
adopted. The Due d'Orleans made me some few reproaches, 
but gently, for having said so much. I excused myself on 
the duty that I owed to my honour and conscience to give 
my opinion according to my conviction, after having thought 
it over thoroughly ; and also to explain myself sufficiently 
to make my opinion clear, as well as my reasons for hold- 
ing it. Immediately after, the edict was enregistered by 
parliament without difficulty [May 2, 1716] ; that assem- 
bly being willing occasionalh^ to oblige the regent with a 


good grace, in order to stiffen itself against him later more 

Some time later (to relate the matter consecutively), the 
Due d'Orldans wished me to see Law and let him explain to 
The regent puts me liis plaus ; lie asked it as a kindness. I 
me m communi- excuscd mvself as best I could ; but several 

cation with Law, '' 

against my will, timcs tlic rcgcut rctumcd to the charge, and 
finally exacted it. Accordingly, Law came to see me. With 
much that was foreign in his behaviour, his expressions and 
his accent, he explained himself in very good terms, with 
great clearness and precision. He talked to me long about 
his bank, which was really an excellent thing in itself, but 
for another country than France, and with a prince less facile 
than the regent. Law had no other solution to give me of 
my two objections than those the regent had already given, 
which did not satisfy me. But as the thing was done, and 
the question now was how to govern it, it was principally on 
that point that our conversation turned. I made him feel, as 
much as I could, the importance of not showing too much 
accommodation, lest it be taken advantage of with a regent 
so kind, facile, open to influence, and so environed. I 
masked as best I could what I wanted him to understand as 
to that, and I dwelt on the necessity of his holding himself 
ever ready to face, instantly, every holder of bank-bills who 
might ask for payment; on which readiness depended the 
credit or the overthrow of the bank. On taking leave Law 
begged me to be willing to receive him occasionally, and we 
parted well satisfied with each other, at which the regent was 
more satisfied still. 

Law came several times to see me, and showed a strong 
desire to ally himself with me. I kept to mere civilities ; 
because finance cannot enter my head, and I regarded our 
conversations as so much lost time. Some time later, the 


regent, who often spoke to me of Law with very great hkincr, 
said that he had a kindness to ask, and even to exact of me ; 
it was that I would receive a visit from Law regularly once 
a week. I represented to him the perfect uselessness of such 
interviews, in which I was incapable of learning anything, 
and still more of enhghtening Law about matters of which 
he knew all and I knew nothing. 1 excused myself in vain ; 
the regent was determined, and I had to obey. Law, in- 
formed by him, came to me, and owned with good grace 
that he had asked this favour of the regent, not venturing 
to ask it of me. This visit was prehminary. The following 
Tuesday he came, and continued to do so punctually on that 
day until his insolvency. One hour and a haK, often two 
hours was the usual length of our conversations. He always 
took care to inform me of the favour his bank received in 
France, and in foreign countries, of his proceeds, his pros- 
pects and his conduct, of the counteraction he met with from 
leaders in finance and in the magistracy, of his motives, 
and, above all, of his balance-sheet, in order to con\ince me 
that he was more than in a condition to meet all holders of 
bills, no matter what sums they might demand. 

I soon knew that if Law desired these regular interviews 
it was not that he expected to make me an able financier ; 
but as a man of intelligence, and he had plenty of it, he 
wanted access to a servdtor of the regent who was more 
than all others truly in his confidence, and one who had long 
been accustomed to speak to him of everything with the ut- 
most frankness and the most entire liberty ; he was seeking 
by this frequent intercourse to win my friendship, and learn 
from me the intrinsic quality of those surrounding the regent, 
whom he could only judge by the outside ; and httle by 
little get counsel from me on the obstacles he met with 
and the persons with whom he had to do. The bank being 


under way and flourishing, I thought it necessary to sustain 
it. I therefore lent myself to giviag the information that 
Law desired, and we soon began to talk with a confidence 
which I never had reason to regret. I shall not enter into 
the details of this bank, or of the other schemes that followed 
it, and the operations that were done in consequence. It is 
a matter of finance which might well fill volumes. I shall 
only speak of it as it relates to the history of the time, or to 
something that concerns me personally. I might add here 
who and what was Law ; but I postpone that to a time when 
the satisfaction of such curiosity will come better in place. 

Arouet, son of a man who was my father's notary and 
mme until his death, was exiled and sent to Tulle for very 
Arouet, poet Satirical and very impudent verses. I should 

of voVaire"'^'"^ ^^^ amusc uiysclf by noting such a trifle if 
e^^^^<i- this same Arouet, becoming a great poet and 

academician under the name of Voltaire, had not also be- 
come, through many tragical adventures, a sort of personage 
in the republic of letters, and even an important one among 
certain persons. His father never knew what to do with 
this unbelieving son, whose irreligion afterwards made his 
fortune as Voltaire, a name he took to disguise his own. 

Another person illustrious for the efl'ects she had pro- 
duced, but of very different stuff, died at this time, and her 
Death of Mme. death did not make the noise it would have 
Guyon. made earlier. This was the famous Mme. 

Guy on. She had been exiled to Anjou about the time of the 
disturbance and end of the affair of Quietism. There she 
had lived virtuously and obscurely, without making herself 
talked of. About eight or ten years previous to her death 
she obtained permission to live at Blois, where she conducted 
herself in the same manner, and where she died without any 
singularity, having shown none since her last exile, — always 


very devout and very retiring, approaching the sacraments 
frequently. She had survived her most illustrious protectors 
and her nearest friends. 

The Mardchal de Villeroy took the king to see the Observa- 

toire. He was at all times a friend of the Chancellor Pont- 

chartrain, now living in retirement at the 

StThTchan-^" Institution [house of the Oratorians] or rather 

ceiior Pontchar- ^ ^-^^ adioinino; buildiug, to which he had an 

train. j o o 

entrance of his own, though he never used it. 
On the way from the Tuileries to the Observatoire it was 
necessary to pass his door. The Mardchal remembered that 
when the late king's grandsons went to Paris, the king 
ordered the Due de Beauvilhers to take them to see old 
Berinsfhen, m order to show them a man he loved, who had 
had a fine career, and then had done justice to his years 
by never leaving his home in Paris among his friends and 
family. Villeroy, for once, thought very rightly that it was 
good to let the king see a man still sound and vigorous and 
in a state of body and mind to figure long in the ministry 
and as chancellor and Keeper of the Seals, who, without dis- 
appointment and without fear, had left all to put a calm and 
saintly interval between life and death, in a perfect retreat 
where he saw no one, and was wholly occupied by his 
religious duties, yet without abasement. This, the Mar^chal 
thought, would accustom the king to honour virtue. He 
therefore sent word from the Observatoire to the late chan- 
cellor that on his way back the king would enter his house 
and pay him a visit. Nothing could be more simple than to 
receive this unusual honour, of which he little dreamed ; but 
Pontchartrain, consistently modest and detached from the 
world, gave orders to be warned in time, and was at his street 
door when the king arrived. He did vainly what he could 
to prevent the king from getting out of his carriage, but he 


succeeded, by force of mind, obstinacy, and respect, in having 
the visit paid in the street; it lasted a quarter of an hour, 
after which the king re-entered his carriage. Pontchartrain 
watched him depart, and then returned to his dear modesty, 
where his perfect renunciation made him at once forget the 
honour of the visit and the pious adroitness with which he 
had avoided as much as he could of it. All those who knew 
him admired this, and praised Mar^chal de Yilleroy for a 
thought so honourable and so becomingly executed. 

The Huguenots, of whom many had remained in France, or 
had returned here, most of them under feigned abjurations. 
Assemblies of profitcd by a period which might pass for one 
Huguenots. The ^f liberty iu comparisou to that of the late 

regent inclined to 

recall them. king. They assembled, clandestinely at first 

and in small numbers ; then they took courage from the 
scant notice taken of them, and soon they had large assem- 
bhes in Poitou, Saintonge, Guyenne, and Languedoc. They 
even marched about Guyenne, where one of their preachers 
made vehement exhortations in the open country. These 
men were not armed, and soon dispersed ; but close to the 
place where they had assembled two carts laden with guns, 
bayonets, and pistols were found. There were also little 
nocturnal assemblages in Paris toward the end of the fau- 
bourg Saint-Antoine. 

The regent spoke to me of this, and in connection with it 
about the contradictions and difficulties with which the edicts 
I persuade him ^^^ declarations of the late king concerning 
not to do so. ^i^g Huguenots were full, so that they could 

neither be enacted because of the impossibihty of recon- 
cilincc them with one another, nor executed in the matter 
of marriages and wills, etc. I was often the witness of 
this truth at the Council of PiCgency, partly in suits there 
referred because tlicrc was no one but the late king who 


could interpret his own meaning in these diverse contra- 
dictions ; partly in reports of consultations between the 
various tribunals and the chancellor which he brought to 
the Council. From complaining of these embarrassments, 
the regent came to that of the cruelty with which the 
late king had treated the Huguenots ; the harm done by 
the revocation of the edict of Nantes ; the immense injury 
the State had suffered and would suffer still in its depopu- 
lation, in its commerce, in the hatred this treatment had 
awakened in all the Protestants of Europe. I abridge a 
long conversation in which, up to this point, I found 
nothing to gainsay. After much solid argument that was 
perfectly true, the regent began to make reflections about the 
ruined state in which the king had left France ; and then 
about the gain of the people, the arts, finances, and com- 
merce that might be made in a moment by the recall of the 
Huguenots to the country ; and finally he proposed to me that 
measure. I do not wish to accuse any one of having sug- 
gested this thought to the regent, because I never knew from 
him the quarter whence it came ; but in the extreme desire 
he had never ceased to indulge to ally himself closely with 
Holland, and above all with England, ever since he had been 
possessed by IsToailles, Canillac, and the Abbe Dubois, sus- 
picion is not very difficult. He hoped by this recall to flatter 
the maritime powers, give them the greatest possible mark 
of esteem, friendship, and condescension, and all this masked 
by the apparent hope of reviving, enriching, and restoring the 
kingdom in a moment. 

I was glad for the Huguenots. But I felt by the preface 
he employed, as here stated, that although his desire might 
be great, he saw and comprehended the full weight and 
results of such a resolution, for which he was seeking ap- 
proval, I dare not say support. I profited instantly by this 


fortunate and wise timidity, and I told him that, ahstract- 
ing from the matter all that religion dictated upon it, I 
should content myself by speaking a language which was 
certainly more becoming in me. I represented to him the 
disorders and civil wars which the Huguenots had caused in 
France from the reign of Henri II. to that of Louis XIII., 
what ruin and bloodshed ; I reminded him that under their 
shadow the League had been formed which had so nearly 
torn the crown from the head of Henri IV. ; and all that 
this had cost our kings and the State against both Huguenots 
and leaguers ; each of them supported, as they were, by 
foreign powers, from whom we had to bear everything, while 
they despised us, and profited by our internal troubles ; so 
that actually Henri IV. owed his crown to the number who 
endeavoured to carry it off, each for himself. I begged the 
regent to reflect that he was now enjoying the benefit of a 
great domestic repose, which he ought to compare with what 
I had now represented ; that it was from this quiet and 
peaceful position that he ought to reason in the matter, or 
rather be convinced that it needed no reasoning, at a time 
when no power demanded such a step ; which the late king 
had had the courage and strength to reject when, exhausted 
in supplies, money, resources, and almost in troops, his 
frontiers captured and open and on the eve of calamitous 
disasters, his enemies demanded of him the return of the 
Huguenots as one of the conditions without which they 
would put no limits to their conquests or end a war the 
king had no longer the means to sustain. 

I likewise made the regent feel another danger from this 
recall. It was that, after the sad and cruel experience the 
Huguenots had liad of the prostration of their power under 
Louis XIIL, of the revocation of the edict of Nantes by the 
late king, and the rigorous treatment that followed it and 


still continued, it was not to be expected that they would 
return to France without the strongest and most assured 
safeguards, which could only be the same as those under 
which they had already made five kings groan. I ended by 
entreating the regent to weigh the advantages he expected 
to gain by this return with the disadvantages and manifold 
dangers which would inevitably accompany it ; I assured 
him that these men, this commerce, this wealth, which he 
beheved would accrue to the kingdom, were men, wealth, 
and commerce inimical to the kingdom ; and that the pleas- 
ure and satisfaction the maritime and other Protestant 
powers would show in the event would be solely at the 
incomparable and irreparable blunder which would make 
them arbiters and masters of the fate and conduct of France 
both within and without our borders. To these and many 
other strong reasons the regent had nothing to oppose that 
could balance them in any way. The conversation lasted 
a long time ; but after that day there was no further ques- 
tion of recalling the Huguenots, or of departing from the 
system estabhshed by the late king, except where the con- 
tradictions and effective impossibihties in the letter of these 
divers ordinances made their execution impossible. 

The negotiations between France and England occasion- 
ally took a smiling turn. Both were anxious, from different 
Louviiie sent on poiuts of vicw, to draw Spain into their con- 
a confidential fereuccs. The regent profited by this to 

mission to the o j. ^J 

King of Spain. eudcavour to obtain for Spain the restitution 
of Gibraltar, which was the one thing in the world which 
interested her most. Gibraltar was really a burden on the 
King of England, standing well as he did with the Barbary 
States and much superior in his navy to Spain. Possessing 
Port-Mahon, Gibraltar was very inferior in usefulness and in 
importance to the outlay and consumption that it cost him. 


He consented, therefore, to return it to Spain, for a few 
trifles that are not worth remembering ; but as he did not 
wish to expose himself to the outcries of the political party 
against him, he exacted the strictest secrecy and a formal 
agreement. He requested that nothing should go through 
Alberoni, nor through any minister, Spanish or English, but 
directly from the regent to the King of Spain through some 
confidential agent chosen by the regent, and on condition 
that this agent should be admitted to speak to the King of 
Spain tUe-ti-tUe. This confidential envoy was to carry creden- 
tials from the regent ; namely, a letter relating to the terms 
of the treaty, that is to say, a document specifymg the trifles 
demanded by the King of England, ready for signature, and 
a positive order from the King of England, written and 
signed by his own hand, to the Governor of Gibraltar, to 
turn over that place to the King of Spain the moment that 
order was handed to him, and to retire with the garrison, 
etc., to Tangier. At the time of execution a Spanish general 
was to march quickly to Gibraltar, on pretence of exercising 
his men ; he was then to present the order of the King of 
England, be received in consequence, and put at once into 
possession of the place. The pretence was weak, but that 
was the affair of the King of England. 

The Due de Noailles was then in great favour and wanted 
to be the sole doer of all this. It is best not to be vain- 
glorious. I knew nothing of it until its second stage, and 
then through Louville before the regent spoke to me, as he 
did soon after. Without being shrewd, I should have dis- 
trusted the King of England in such a manoeuvre. He was 
certainly not ignorant with what care and jealousy the queen 
and Alberoni kept the King of Spain apart and inaccessible 
to every one ; he must have known that the surest way to 
fail was to attempt to hold intercourse with the king with- 


out their knowledge, or in spite of them and without their 
co-operation. As for the choice of agent, of all the men in 
France, Louville was, in my opinion, the very last on whom 
it should have fallen. The better he had formerly stood 
with the King of Spain, and the closer he had been in his 
confidence, the more his arrival would alarm the queen and 
Alberoni, and the more they would use all means not to let 
a man so dangerous to their influence and authority approach 
the king. I said so to Louville, who did not disagree with 
me and only replied that in his surprise at the mission he 
had not dared to refuse it ; and moreover, if he succeeded in 
reaching the king, the rendition of Gibraltar was so impor- 
tant a matter that he should be unlucky indeed if it did 
not secure to him the payment of what was due on his 
Spanish pensions, a very serious object to him. To be chosen 
and to depart was one and the same thing. He had time, 
however, to come and talk the matter over with me ; and 
the night before he left he again came to me, and told me 
with what kindness and confidence the Due d'Orleans had 
spoken to him of himself and the mission on which he sent 
him. The plan was that Louville, taking a circuitous route 
by way of Foix and Arragon, should arrive in Madrid before 
any one got wind of his journey. But in spite of all his 
precautions the secret was not well kept. 

The suspicions of the King of Spain against Alberoni were 
strengthening daily. The queen exhorted the latter to suffer 
in patience ; while the minister blamed her for her supineness, 
her compUance to the king when she ought to control the 
perpetual distrust of his feeble and irresolute mind, which 
was capable of yielding to any one who chose to lay hold of 
it for e\'il purposes. He found the queen indolent, hating 
trouble and business, and seeking only her own repose. He 
iirired her not to allow either of them to be excluded from 


the government of affairs, and to be on her guard, amid the 
confusion of nations and languages which flooded the Court 
of Spain, against the secret and determined cabal of certain 
Spaniards who were seeking to recall their former govern- 
ment. Alberoni warned her that if she ceased to uphold her 
authority in jjublic affairs she need not count on any influ- 
ence or consideration in the world, nor on the respect of her 
subjects. Troubles were at their very worst in Spain ; the 
peoples overwhelmed with taxation ; the seigneurs m fear 
and degradation ; the nobles reduced to mendicity ; neither 
troops, nor finances, nor navy, nor commerce, and no one 
capable of remedying such evils, while the house of Austria 
was always on watch with her partisans. Alberoni vaunted 
his own projects and assured the queen he could still mend 
all, provided he were sustained in them. 

Things were at this point when Louville arrived at Madrid, 
and went to lodge with the Due de Saint-Aignan [ambassador 
Gibraltar lost to to Spain], wlio was greatly surprised, having 
^P^*"- received no warning. But a chance courier, 

who had met Louville at some distance from Madrid, brought 
word to Alberoni. A¥e can imagine the jealous suspicions 
that tormented him, and his prompt alarm. He well knew 
the influence Louville had formerly had on the King of Spain ; 
and the violent manner in which tlie Princesse des Ursins 
and the late queen had torn the king away from him. His 
alarm at this wholly unexpected arrival was so great that 
he used no decency in getting rid of him. He despatched an 
order by a courier instantly, forbidding Louville to come 
nearer to Madrid. The courier missed the envoy, but fifteen 
minutes after his arrival at Saint-Aignan's the latter received 
a note from Grimaldo [Alberoni's secretary], bearing an order 
from the King of Spain for his immediate departure. Louville 
replied that he was the bearer of credentials to the king, also 

VOL. IV. — 


of a letter from the regent to the king, and a commission to 
his Cathohc Majesty which did not permit him to depart 
until it was executed. On receiving this answer, a courier 
was instantly despatched to Prince Cellamare [Spanish 
ambassador to France], with orders to ask for Louville's 
recall, and declaring that he was personally so disagreeable 
to the King of Spain that he would not see him, nor allow 
him to treat with any of his ministers. The fatigue of the 
journey followed by such a reception gave Louville a ne- 
phritic attack, to which he was subject, so that he ordered 
a bath to be prepared, into which he put himself in the 
course of the morning. Alberoni went in person to see him 
and induce him to leave at once. The state in which they 
told him Lomolle was did not stop him ; he insisted on seeing 
him, against his will, in his bath. Xothiug could be more 
civil than his words, nor more curt, negative, and determined 
than their meaning. Louville insisted that his credentials 
gave him a public character, namely : to execute an important 
commission from the King of Trance, nephew to the King of 
Spain ; so that his Catholic Majesty could not refuse to hear 
it from his lips, and if he did not do so he would have reason 
to regret it. The dispute was sharp and long, in spite of 
Louville's condition, but he gained nothing. 

Louville dared not go to see any one for fear of committing 
himself, and no one dared to go and see him. He made one 
attempt to see the King of Spain in the street, to try whether, 
if the latter saw him, he might not be induced to speak 
to him, in case, as was very probable, he had not been 
told of his arrival. But Alberoni had foreseen everything. 
Louville did really see the king pass, but it was impossible to 
make the king see him. Grimaldo came immediately after 
with a positive order for him to depart, and a warniug to the 
Due de Saint- Aignan that the King of Spain was very angry 


at this obstinate delay, and that he would not answer for 
what might happen if Louville's stay was prolonged. They 
both saw that it was useless to hope for an audience, and, 
consequently, that a longer stay could do no good, and might 
lead to violence, which, by its scandal, would embroil Trance ; 
so Louville departed at the end of a week and returned as he 
came. Alberoni breathed again after his fright, and consoled 
himself by having shown his power in a way that would save 
him in future from the approach of any person to the King 
of Spain without his sanction. But he cost Spain Gibraltar, 
which she has not since then recovered. Such is the useful- 
ness of prime ministers. 

Louville having returned, it became necessary to send back 
to the King of England the documents, etc., that he had 
taken with him to Spain ; and thus the affair of Gibraltar 
came to naught, except that it irritated Alberoni against the 
regent for having sent a secret commission to the King of 
Spain without his knowledge, and the regent against Alberoni 
for having made the project miscarry with such notoriety. 

The Mart^chal de Montrevel, whose name will not be 
found in history, the pet of silly women, of fashion and the 
Death of »^y world, of the Mar^chal de Villeroy, and 

Montrevel from almost of tlic latc kiug, from whom he had 

fear of spilt salt. - 

drawn more than a hundred thousand francs 
a year in benefits which he still received, a man noted for 
notliing but that in which he had the smallest part, namely, 
a face which made him all his life the idol of women, a 
great birth, and brilliant valour, died about this time, cheat- 
ing his creditors by leaving nothing but three thousand 
louis, and much plate and porcelain, and fearing nothing so 
much as an overturned salt-cellar. He was just preparing 
to go to Alsace. Dining with Biron (afterwards duke, peer, 
and marshal of France), a salt-cellar was overturned and the 



salt scattered over him. He turned pale, felt ill, and said 
he was a dead man ; they were obhged to leave the table 
and take him home. There was no restoring the small 
amount of brains he had. Fever seized him that night and 
he died four days later, leaving no regrets but those of his 

The Duchesse d'Alba married about this time the Abbd 
de Castiglione, whom she had brought with her to Paris 
Marriage of the ^^ returning from Madrid. I have already 
Duchesse d'Alba. gpoken of them and shall only say here that 
the pope allowed him to keep the quite considerable 
revenues he received from his benefices, and that, in favour 
of this marriage, the King of Spain made him a grandee of 
the first class and gave him a place as gentleman of his 
bedchamber, an office which had long had no functions. 
He took the name of Due de Solferino. 

The year ended with great bitterness openly shown 

between the princes of the blood and the legitimatized 

princes. This struggle of the bastard against 

Bitterness be- ^-^ legitimate son, this equality of condition 

tween the princes "^ O ' I J 

of the blood and |j^ ^j^g issuc from a double and pubhc adultery 

the bastards. , ... 

and from a royal wife, this identity, so com- 
plete, between children born of the sacrament and of crime, 
revolted nature and affected the son and the posterity of the 
Due d'Orl^ans no less than they did the Bourbon branch. 
Therefore justice, truth, reason, religion, nature, claims of 
birth, claims of power, claims of honour, interests of safety 
(shall I dishonour so many sacred reasons by adding a 
motive far less pure, but dear and keen in all men ? ), the 
powerful interests of vengeance, all concurred in the Due 
d'Orl^ans to make him rejoice to find himself at last in a 
position to strike down the colossus beneath which he had 
so nearly been crushed, and to shiver it easily but surely 


into fragments, with the blessing of God and the acclama- 
tion of all orders of the kingdom and everybody else except 
a mere handful of henchmen and valets. Who, in his place, 
would not have dearly bought the happiness of such a posi- 
tion ? It did not cause the very slightest sensation to the 
Due d'Oii^ans ! And yet this incredible indifference, this 
amazing detachment from himself under an opportunity 
which might have made the greatest saints on earth tremble 
for their own conduct, was no merit in him, either as regards 
this world about which he blhided himself so foohshly, or 
as regards the other on which he never made the sUghtest 
reflection. Alas ! the hand of God was upon him and upon 
the kingdom. In this affair he was simply the prey and the 
plaything of d'Efhat and other men of that stamp whom the 
Due du Maine kept near him, and whom the regent never 
distrusted, all the while keeping on his guard against his 
well-tried servitors. I had made it a rule, as I did about 
the parliament, never to open my lips to him about the 
bastards. After all that we had said to each other in former 
days about them he was ashamed and embarrassed before 
me, and I had nothing further to add. 

The inclinations, example, and favour of the late king had 

made Paris the sink of the licentiousness of all Europe ; and 

it continued to be so long after him. Besides 

^717- the mistresses of the late king, his bastards, 

of all Europe. tliose of Charlcs IX. (for I have seen one of 

them, a widow, and her daughter-in-law), those 

of Henri IV., those of M. le Due d'Orldans, to whom his 

regency brought immense fortunes, those of the two branches 

of the two Bourbon brothers, Malause and Busset, the 

Vertus ]>astai(ls of the last Due de Bretacfne, the bastard 

daughters of the last three Condds down to tlie Eothelins, 

bastards of bastards, — besides this population of French bas- 


tarcls, Paris has, I say, gathered in the mistresses of the 
kings of England and Sardinia, two of the Elector of Bavaria, 
and the numerous bastards of England, Bavaria, Savoie, 
Denmark, Saxony, and even those of Lorraine, who have all 
made, in Paris, great and rapid fortunes, pihng one upon an- 
other wealth, orders, promotions that were more than pre- 
mature, an infinite number of favours and distinctions of 
all kinds, with rank and the most distinguished honours; 
all being persons who would not even have been looked at 
in any other country of Europe ; down to the infamous 
fruits of public incests, such as the little Due de Montb^Hard, 
declared solenmly to be such by the Aulic council of Vienna, 
and rejected as such by the empire and the whole house of 
Wiirtemberg. Such scum it was that Erance alone was 
capable of receiving and, sole among the nations of Europe, 
of honouring above her own highest nobility, who had the 
foUy to concur and be the first to approve. It must, how- 
ever, be admitted that a bastard of England and another of 
Saxony have rendered grand serv^ices to their States by 
gloriously commanding their armies. 

On the eve of the Epiphany several of us were supping at 

our ease with Louville. A moment after the fruit was served 

some one entered and whispered in the ear of 

D'Agfuesseau, pro- 

cureur-ge'nerai, Saint-Coutest, couuscllor of State, who left the 

made chancellor. j.-ii- tj^i tt- i i, 

table immediately. His absence was short; 
but he returned so preoccupied, and promising to tell us why, 
that we thought only of leaving the table. As soon as we 
were alone and had gathered round the fire, he told us the 
news, which was that Chancellor Voysin, supping at home with 
his family and apparently weU, had been suddenly stricken 
with apoplexy and had fallen over, as if dead, on Mme. de 
Lamoignon, and would not live, it was thought, two hours. 
In fact, he did not live so long, and never regained conscious- 


ness. The Due de Noailles, notified of this event that even- 
ing, or during the night, went early to the regent, as he left 
his bed with his stomach undigested and his head very 
heavy with sleep and the supper of the night before, as he 
was every mornmg on rising and for some time after. 
Noailles sent away the few valets who were present, told 
the Due d'Orleans of the chancellor's death, and immediately 
bombarded him for d'Aguesseau. The latter was summoned 
to the Palais-Eoyal at once, where Noailles waited for him 
as a matter of precaution. D'Aguesseau found him with the 
Due d'Orleans in the cabinet of the latter, who, with the flat- 
tering compliments that always accompany the bestowal 
of favours, told him his intentions. Soon after, the regent 
left the cabinet and, taking d'Aguesseau by the arm, said to 
the assembled company that they saw before them a new 
and very worthy chancellor. Then, getting into his car- 
riage, with the casket containing the Seals before him and 
accompanied by d'Aguesseau, he went to the Tuileries, 
spoke in praise of the latter to the king, and presented to him 
the casket of the Seals, on which the king laid his hand to 
signify that he gave it to d'Aguesseau, the regent still hold- 
ing it. 

D'Aguesseau, having received the Seals in this way, was 
modest under a flux of compliments ; and, escaping as soon 
as he could, went home with the precious casket. The 
house was full of relatives and friends, all in a flutter about 
the summons from the regent. D'Aguesseau, his mind 
floundering in surprise, went up to see his brother, a sort 
of voluptuous philosopher, with much mind and much learn- 
ing, but most of it veiy singular. He found him smoking 
before the fire in his dressing-gown. " Brother," he said, on 
entering, " I have come to tell you that I am chancellor." 
The brother turned round. " Chancellor ! " said he, " what 


have you done with the other one ? " " He died suddenly 
last night." " Oh ! well, brother, I am very glad ; I would 
rather it were you than I ; " and that was all the congratula- 
tion he got from him. 

A chancellor ought to be a personage, and in a regency 
he cannot help being one. This one has been a personage 
so long, for he still hves, and has been so battered by fortime 
in that great office, which seems as if it ought to be a haven 
of rest, that many reasons combine to make me break the 
rule I made never to speak at length about those who are 
still in the world at the time I write. 

He was born November 26, 1668 ; made avocat-general 
January 12, 1691, at twenty-two and a half years old ; pro- 
career and cureur-genSrctl November 19, 1700, at thirty- 

character of ^^^^ chaucellor and Keeper of the Seals of 

Chancellor ' ^ 

d'Aguesseau. France February 2, 1717, when forty-six years 
of age. He was under middle height and stout, with an 
agreeable and very full face until his last trials, and always a 
countenance that was virtuous and intellectual ; one eye, how- 
ever, very much smaller than the other. It is remarkable 
that he never had a deliberating influence until he was chan- 
cellor ; m parhament they made it a point not to follow his 
conclusions, out of jealousy at the reputation he had acquired, 
which prevailed over friendship and esteem. Much intelli- 
gence, industry, penetration, knowledge of all kinds, magis- 
terial gravity, equity, piety, and innocence of life, formed the 
basis of his character. It may be said that here was a noble 
spirit and an incorruptible man (if we except the one affair 
of the Bouillons), and with it all, gentle, kind, humane, easy 
of access, and agreeable ; with gayety and spicy pleasantry in 
private, though never wounding any one ; extremely sober, 
polite without assumption, noble, without the least avaricious- 
ness ; naturally lazy, which at last made him slow. Who 


would not suppose tliat a magistrate adorned with such 
virtues and talents, with memory, vast reading, eloquence 
in speaking and in writing, correctness even to the sUghtest 
expressions in ordinary conversation, and all the graces of 
fluency, would have made the greatest chancellor seen for 
centuries ? It is true that he would have made a splendid 
president of the parUament ; it is none the less true that, 
as chancellor, he made such men as Aligre and even Bou- 
cherat regretted. This paradox seems hard to imderstand ; 
it is plain to the naked eye, however, during the thirty years 
that he has been chancellor, and on such evidence that I 
might well rest on that ; but so strange a fact deserves to be 

This fortunate assemblage of qualities was spoiled in 
various ways that were hidden in his first life, but revealed 
at once as soon as he entered the second. The long and sole 
nourishment that he had taken from the breast of parhament 
had so moulded into him its maxims and its pretensions that 
he regarded it with more love, respect, and veneration than 
the English feel for their parhaments, which have nothing 
but the name in common with ours. I shall not say too 
much if I assert that he looked upon all that emanated from 
that assembly as a behever well trained in his religion re- 
gards the decisions on faith of the oecumenical councils. 
From this species of worship came three defects, which 
appeared very frequently throughout his career. 

First, he was always for the parliament, whatever it 
might undertake against the royal authority; whereas his 
office, which made him tlie superior and the moderator 
of the parliaments and of the words of the king to them, 
obliged him to restrain them when they passed their 
proper limits, and al)ove all to repress them firmly when 
they attacked the king's autliority. His equity and liis 


intelligence showed him plainly enough the aberrations of 
parliament in this respect ; hut to repress them was more 
than he could do. His softness, seconded by the sort of 
worship with which he honoured the parhament, was pained 
and grieved to see it in error ; but to let it be known that it 
was in error was a crime in his eyes which he groaned to see 
committed by others, and which he could not commit him- 
self. He therefore put all his talents to palhating, excus- 
ing, covering-up, and making specious interpretations of its 
faults, negotiating with it on one side, and with the regent 
on the other ; profiting by the latter's timidity, supineness, 
and levity to blunt and enervate all resistance on his part ; 
so that instead of having in this highest magistrate a firm 
supporter of the royal authority, and a true judge of jus- 
tice, all that could be got from him was a few stammermg 
words which enfeebled the little that he really meant to 
say, and gave courage, strength, and haughtiness to the 

A second defect was the extension of this worship of par- 
liament to every man who wore the legal robe, down, I may 
say, to the officers of royal baihwicks. Every man who wore 
the robe ought, according to him, to be regarded with awe, 
whatever he did ; and must not be complained of, unless 
with the greatest circumspection. Complaints were not 
listened to if they were not supported by the plainest legal 
proof ; and even then they seemed to him deplorable. He 
would turn himself every way to save the honour of the 
robe, — as if the robe in general were dishonoured because 
one rascal had clothed himself in it for money. He proposed 
compromises ; and, if the complainants were of a certain 
sort, discontinuance for the purpose of reporting to him ; and 
then he had recourse to those ruinous delays which are 
equivalent to the denial of justice, and from which the man 


in the robe came out cheaply, always as white as he could 
be made, and as lightly reprimanded. In this spirit he could 
not understand how any one should bring himself to attack 
a decree of parhament. He employed the same manceuvres 
to avoid it, and it was only after a long defence that he would 
let the matter be carried to the court of appeals. That court, 
composed by him, hke all the others of the Council, was 
well aware of this repugnance on his part. We may believe 
he knew how to manage it, and very clear reasons indeed 
were needed to oblige the court to carry the appeal to the 
Council. If, in spite of all, the evidence dragged it there, 
the chancellor, who could not bring himself to pronounce 
the blasphemy of quashing a decree, was the first to invent 
a formula which enabled him to pronounce that the decree 
was non avenu ; and even then, it was not done without a 
peroration of defence and moans. All this was plainly sub- 
versive of the distribution of justice. 

A third evil, derived from the same source, was an attach- 
ment to forms, even the most insignificant, so literal, so pre- 
cise, so servile that all other considerations, even the most 
evident justice, disappeared to his eyes before some petty 
formality. Long service at the bar had injured his mind. It 
was naturally extended and luminous, and endowed with 
much reading and profound knowledge. The duty of the 
bar is to gather, examine, weigh, compare the reasons of two 
or more parties, and to spread out that schedule, if I may so 
express it, with all the graces and flowers of eloquence before 
the judges, and with the greatest exactitude, that no point be 
overlooked, and that none of the numerous auditors shall be 
able to guess of what opinion the avocat-general is before he 
begins to sum up. This continual habit for twenty-four 
years, acting on a mind that was scrupulous on equity and 
on form, fruitful in ideas, learned in law and customs, had 


broiiglit him to a pitch of indecision from which he could 
not escape ; so that if some limit of time were not absolutely 
lixed, affairs were prolonged mdefinitely. He was the first to 
suffer from this ; it was to him a sort of parturition to make 
up his mind ; but woe to those who had to wait for it. 

To such essential defects, which, nevertheless, came chiefly 
from too much understanding and knowledge and too long a 
habit at the bar, and were far indeed from detracting from 
an honour and an uprightness which were only mcreased by 
this delicacy of conscience, were joined others that came only 
from his natural slowness and a too great desire to do well ; 
he could not finish turning the plirase of a declaration, a 
decree, or even a business letter, however unimportant. He 
touched and retouched them incessantly. He was the slave 
of the most exact purity of diction, and never perceived that 
this servitude made him often obscure, and sometimes unin- 
telligible. His taste for the sciences crowned all these dis- 
abihties. He loved languages, especially the classic ones ; 
he took infinite pleasure in all phases of physics and mathe- 
matics. Nor was he less of a metaphysician. For all those 
sciences he had breadth and talent ; he loved to dig into 
them, to make experiments behind closed doors in all the 
different sciences, with his children and a few obscure savants, 
who each took points of research for the next meeting. In 
this sort of study he lost a vast deal of time and irritated 
those who were depending on him and who sometimes had to 
go to his house a dozen times before they could reach him, 
through the functions of his office and the amusements of 
his taste. He was born for the sciences. It is true that he 
would have made an excellent president of the parliament ; 
but that for which he was best fitted was to be at the head 
of all literature, — of the Academies, the Obsei'vatory, the 
Eoyal College and Library; there he would certainly have 


excelled. His slowness would have troubled no one ; his 
ready difficulties would have helped to clear up questions, 
and his indecision, mdependent then of conscience, would 
have tended to the same end. He would have had to do 
only with men of letters and not with the world, which he 
never knew, and, save for politeness, had no usage in. 

Enough said, but still one other touch of the brush. The 
elder Due de Grammont, who was very shrewd, related to 
me how, one morning, finding himself in the king's cabinet 
while the king was at mass, tUe-ct-tetc with the chancellor, 
he asked him, in the course of conversation, if, since he had 
been chancellor, the great knowledge he must have of chican- 
ery and of long protracted suits, had not made him think of 
regulating the matter, stopping such rascality, and shorten- 
ing cases. The chancellor replied that he had thought so 
much about it that he had begun to draw up a regulation on 
paper; but as he advanced, he retiected on the great number 
of avocats, procureurs, sheriffs, etc., which such a regulation 
would ruin, and the compassion he had felt made him drop 
the pen from his hand. For the same reason archers and 
provosts ought not to arrest thieves or put them in the way 
of their heads being cut off, which is certamly a greater 
reason for compassion. In other words, the duration and 
number of suits make the wealth and the power of lawyers ; 
consequently they should be left to increase and multiply. 
Here is a long disquisition ; but I think it the more useful 
because it makes plain how a man of so much integrity, 
talents, and reputation is, little by little, brought, through 
issuing from his true centre, to make his integrity equivocal 
and his talents worse than useless, and thus lose his reputa- 
tion and become at last the plaything of fortune. 

It occurs to me that I have forgotten a thing which de- 
serves to be noted for the singularity of tlie fact, and I shall 


now record it for fear it may escape me again. One after- 
noon, as we were about to take our places at the Council of 
Regency, Mar^chal de Villars drew me aside and 

I prevent the de- 
struction of asked if I knew that Marly was about to be de- 

^^^^^y- stroyed. I told him no, for in fact I had never 

heard it mentioned, and I added that I could not believe it. 
" Then you do not approve it ? " said the mardchal. I as- 
sured him that I. was far from doing so. He repeated that 
the destruction was resolved upon ; that he knew it in a way 
that left no doubt whatever, and that if I wished to prevent 
it I had not a moment to lose. I answered, as we were tak- 
ing our seats, that I would speak of it presently to M. le Due 
d'Orldans. " Presently ! " exclaimed the mardchal, hastily ; 
" speak to him at once, this very moment, for the order may 
already have been given." 

As the whole Council was now seated, I passed behind 
them to the Due d'Orldans, to whom I whispered what I had 
just heard, without saying from whom it came. I said I 
implored him, if the news were true, to suspend the order 
until I could speak with him, and I would go to the Palais- 
Royal as soon as the Council rose. He stammered some- 
thing as if annoyed at being found out, but agreed to wait. 
"When I reached the Palais-Royal he did not deny the matter. 
I told him I should not ask who had given him such perni- 
cious advice. He wanted to prove to me that it was good by 
saving the expense of keeping the place up, and by the pro- 
duct of the aqueducts, materials, furniture, and other things 
that could be sold ; he also mentioned the unsuitableness of 
the site where the king, at his early age, could not be taken 
for a number of years. I answered that the reasons pre- 
sented to him were those of the guardian of a private indi- 
vidual whose conduct should not resemble in any way that 
of a guardian of a King of France ; that he ought to accept 


the necessity of the expense of keeping up Marly, and con- 
sider that it was but an item in those of the king, and put 
out of his head the proceeds of the materials, because they 
would certainly disappear in gifts and pillage ; moreover, that 
he ought not to view the matter in this petty way, but con- 
sider how many millions had been cast into that old sewer to 
make it a fairy palace, unique in Europe as to form, still 
more unique for the beauty of its fountains, unique in the 
character and reputation that the late king had given to it, 
making it an object of curiosity to foreigners of all stations 
who visited France. I told him that this destruction would 
echo throughout Europe, with such blame that France would 
be openly insulted for the removal of so remarkable an orna- 
ment. Besides which, though neither he nor I was very 
sensitive as to what had been the taste and occupation of the 
late king, still he ought to avoid shocking his memory after 
so long a reign, so many brilliant years, and such great 
reverses heroically Ijorne. And finally that he ought to 
remember that all the malcontents would cry murder ; that 
the Due du Maine, Mme. de Ventadour, and Mar^chal de 
Villeroy would not refrain from making a crime of it to the 
little king. I saw plainly that he had never made the slight- 
est reflection on all this. He agreed that I was right, prom- 
ised that nothing should be touched at Marly, and thanked 
me for having saved him from that blunder. When I was 
quite sure of this result I said to him: "You must admit 
that the king would be much astonished if he could know 
in the other world that the Due de ISToailles had urged you 
to destroy Marly, and that I was the one to prevent it." 
" Oh ! as for that," he replied quickly, " he would never 
believe it." Marly was preserved and maintained, and it 
was Cardinal Fleury who, with the miserliness of a college 
bursar, robbed it of its river, its greatest charm. 


I hastened to give the good news to Mar^chal de Villars. 
The Due de Noailles was furious at having this economy 
wrenched from him. In order not to seem totally defeated, 
he obtained permission (very secretly, for fear that here too 
he might fail), to sell the furniture and linen, etc. He per- 
suaded the regent, who was shy with him about the retrac- 
tation of the destruction, that all such things would be spoilt 
and worthless before the king was of an age to go to Marly ; 
that in selling them quite a relief would stiU be obtained to 
the condition of the finances, and that later the king could 
refurnish the place as he fancied. There were several fine 
pieces of furniture, and as all the lodgings of the courtiers, 
the officers, great and small, and the wardrobe people, were 
supplied with furniture and linen that were the property of 
the king, there was an immensity to sell ; but the sale was 
small in its results, through favours and pillage, and the 
replacement of what was sold has since cost several millions. 
I knew nothing of the sale until after it was begun ; therefore 
I could not prevent this very injurious meanness. Every- 
thing was sold at an extremely low price. 

Mme. de Maintenon, forgotten and as though dead, in her 
beautiful and opulent retreat at Saint-C}T, was seriously ill 
Illness of Mme. at tliis time, almost without its being knowTi, 
de Maintenon. r^jj^j wholly without its making any sensation 
among those who heard of it. 


Though the affair of the bull Unigenitus does not enter 

into these Memoirs, for reasons already given, there are certain 

facts about it, which either concern me person- 

My prediction at 

the Council of ally or are well-known to me, which ought to 
Regency. g^^ ^ placc hcrc, bccausc I have reason to 

doubt whether they will find one in the histories of this 
famous affair, the authors of which may well desire to ignore 
them. On one of the earlier days of the month of January the 
matter came up before the Council of Eegency. I shall not 
enlarge on what took place, for I have no intention of dwell- 
ing on the subject. I saw a strong incHnation to exact a 
blind submission without explanation or chance to reply ; and 
also that the party now inclinmg to absolute obedience was 
increasmg steadily. M. de Troyes put himself forward in 
favour of the bull and the pretensions of Eome, repenting, 
apparently, that he had hitherto, throughout his hfe, opposed 

I was not of his opinion ; he grew warm ; we both disputed 
hotly, and he let out his ideas so freely that I remarked that 
before long that bull would have made its way amazingly, for 
I saw now that it was getting nearer and nearer to being 
made an article of faith ; whereupon up gets M. de Troyes to 
declaim against the calumny, declaring that I always went 
beyond the facts ; and from that to showing that the buU 
could never become either dogma, rule, or article of faith ; 
that even in Eome such a thing had never entered the mind 
of any one, and that Cardmal Tolomeo, who was all his life a 

VOL. IV. 7 


Jesuit, and as a Jesuit was made cardinal, had laughed in 
derision whenever that string was touched. Wlien he had 
made his outcry, I looked round at the council and said: 
" Messieurs, pray allow me to take you, one and all, to wit- 
ness as to what I have now predicted about the future of the 
bull, and all that M. de Troyes has said to prove that it is 
impossible it can ever be made an article, dogma, or rule of 
faith, and that Eome herself laughs at the idea; and per- 
mit me also to remind you of all this hereafter, when the 
bull shall have reached the future which, I repeat, will not 
be long in coming." M. de Troyes cried out again at my 
absurdity. At the end of six months, and even less, it was 
shown I was a prophet. 

Cardinal de Noailles proposed to me a meeting in his 
cabinet w^ith d'Aguesseau (still 'pi'ocureur-general), in order 
D'Aguesseau ^^^^^ "^^ might listcu to a memorial which the 
reads to Cardinal latter had drawn up against the bull. I went 

de Noailles and 

me a memorial there, the door was closed, we were all three 
agains e u . j^jq^q^ ^^^^ ^q reading lasted two hours. The 

object of the paper was to show that there was no means of 
receiving a bull so contrary to all the laws of the Church, to 
the maxims and usages of the kinodom founded on the liber- 
ties of the Galilean Church as the Unigenitus ; that those 
liberties themselves are only the observance of canons and 
rules established from all time in the Church universal; 
canons which have been maintained in their integrity 
against the encroachments of the Court of Eome by the 
Galilean Church alone. Besides the erudition which, without 
any affectation, was displayed throughout the document, and 
the beauty of the diction without an effort at eloquence, it 
was admirable for its tissue of a chain of proofs, the links of 
which seemed to spring naturally from one another, and 
carried along the proofs of the whole memorial in an orderly 


manner which made them clear, and formed an evidence 
which it was impossible not to accept. It was also restraiaed 
within the limits which the primacy of Eome over all other 
churches could justly require; and was expressed with the 
proper respect due to the person and dignity of the pope. 
The conclusion arrived at was to send back to him his bull, 
having vainly sought and endeavoured to find some way of 
receiving it, solely induced thereto by the desire to show 
good-will and respect for the Holy See and the pope. I was 
charmed with the document, and I showed d'Aguesseau to 
its fullest extent the impression made upon me. Cardinal 
de Noailles was no less satisfied. We reasoned it over to- 
gether before separating. But the misery was that religion 
and truth were not the rudder of this unhappy affair ; just 
as neither had been the source of it in Eome or in those 
who had been employed in demanding it, supporting it, and 
bringing it, for their ambition, to the point where it now 
was, at the cost of truth, justice, the Church and State, 
many learned colleges, many illustrious ecclesiastical bodies, 
— in short, at the cost of a whole people of saints and learned 

I knew the weakness of the regent, and (though he was 

really a believer, in spite of himself) the little account he 

piqued himself on making of religion. I saw 

The regent deliv- ^ ^ .... 

ered over to the him givcu ovcr to his cnemics in this affair, as 
in so many others : to the Jesuits, whom he 
feared ; to Mar^chal de Villeroy, who had impressed him 
from his earliest youth, and who, in the most profound igno- 
rance of the real matter, piqued himself on supporting the 
bull, to make parade of his gratitude to the late king and 
Mme. de Maintenon ; to the Abbd Dubois, who, in his under- 
ground darkness, was already groping towards the cardinalate, 
and seeking to smooth his way with Eome ; to the manoeu- 


vres of Cardiual de Eolian, the tantrums of Cardinal de Bissy, 
the rascality of sundry prelates who nursed a soft chimera of 
attaining to the hat ; and, finally, to that fallen cedar, to that 
unhappy Bishop of Troyes, whose return to the world had 
gangrened his very vitals, without object, without reason, and 
against all the notions and lights he had had and maintained 
throughout his life until he entered the Council of Regency. 
As for counter-weight, there was none. 

The pope, stiffening himself (unlike the usage of his 
greatest and most saintly predecessors) in the resolve not 
to give any explanation of his bull, nor suffer the bishops to 
give any, for fear of undermining his pretended infallibility, 
but more because he was puzzled how to give any reasonable 
explanation, or admit any, would only hear of blind obedi- 
ence ; and his nuncio, Bentivoglio, at the head of the Jesuits 
and Sulpicians, thought the chance too good to abrogate the 
liberties of the GaUican Church and subject it to the slavery 
of Rome (Kke the churches of Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the 
Indies), to miss the occasion. He began therefore to doff 
his cap, and those of the Jesuits and Sulpicians, to the 
bishops, to get them to declare the bull an article of faith. 

In this extremity — of the imposition of a new article of 
faith, destitute of aU legitimate authority, because such au- 
thority can only be given by the free and general assembly 
of the Church, to wliich alone the promise of Jesus Christ 
to be with it throughout all ages is addressed — the Sorbonne 
and four bishops thought it was time to have recourse to 
the last remedy which the Church has provided and ap- 
proves of her children making use of, in order to suspend 
proceedings and await times when the truth would be more 
readily listened to; namely, an appeal to a future free 
Council-general. Bentivoglio and all the promoters of the 
bull uttered loud outcries. They felt the importance in 


itself of this great step ; they groaned under the weight of 
suspended proceedings ; they felt the terrible effect upon 
their enterprise from the consequences of this example, and 
they stirred up hell to arrest it. The regent, ever ready to 
be alarmed, easily dragged along by his treacherous con- 
fidants, yielded to their demands, and proceeded cruelly 
against the Sorbonne, and against the four bishops, whom 
he exiled, and dismissed to their dioceses. 

It was then that Cardinal de Noailles missed a grand 

stroke — as he had already missed others, I saw him fi'e- 

quently at his own house and at mine. He 

Cardinal de 

Noailles misses cauic On tliis occasiou to talk the matter over 
stroke!'^ ^"^^ with mc. I cxliortcd him to appeal. He was 
sure of the Chapters and of the rectors of 
Paris, of all the principal ecclesiastics, and the most noted 
and numerous communities, both secular and regular. He 
was also sure of several bishops who were only waiting his 
example, and pressed him to give it. I represented to him 
that he ought by this time to be convinced of the treachery, 
the craftiness, and the real object of the party which, under 
a show of obedience to Eome, was forcing the hand of the 
pope in order to triumph in France, and would never consent 
to anything but blind obedience. I told him he had shown 
enough patience, gentleness, moderation, and desire to com- 
bine obedience with the truth and liberties of the Gallican 
Church, and that it was now time to open his eyes, and put 
a stop to this fury and craft. 

I shook him. He confided to me that his appeal was all 
written and ready ; but he thought he ought still to delay 
the crash in order not to reproach himself with having failed 
in patience. I could not get him out of that ; nor could he 
allege any better reason than this vague scruple. After a 
long discussion, I predicted to him that his patience would 


prove fatal ; that in the end he would come to the appeal, 
but — too late ! 

The regent avoided the subject with me, — all the more 
easily because I never touched upon it, and, with the excep- 
tion of a few mercies I obtained from him in 
Tete-a-tete be- cascs of private pcrsons against whom violence 

tween the regent j: r o 

and me in his had been cxtortcd from him, I never entered 

opera-box. . i i • 

upon the topic with him. But when he was 
troubled and pressed upon some special point he never could 
prevent himself from returning to me with perfect openness ; 
and this about matters and things on which his own con- 
sciousness and the influence of the people about him made 
me most open to suspicion in his eyes. So, being pressed 
and harassed by these appeals and contending furies, he 
stopped me one afternoon as I was preparing to leave after 
working with him Utc-h-Ute, as I usually did about twice a 
week. He said he was going to the Opera, and wanted me 
to go with him to talk over important matters. " The Opera, 
monsieur ! " I exclaimed ; " what a place to talk over busi- 
ness ! Talk here as much as you please ; or, if you must go 
to the Opera, very good ; and, if you like, I will come back 
to-morrow." He persisted, and said we could shut ourselves 
up in his little box, where he went under cover from his own 
apartment, and where we should be quite as well off, and 
better too than in his cabinet. In vain I objected ; he only 
laughed, and finally, taking his hat and cane from a sofa 
with one hand, and me by the arm with the other, he 
marched me along. On entering his box, he sat down where 
he told me he usually sat, facing the stage, to which he told 
me to turn my back that I might sit opposite to him. In 
this position we were in full view from the stage, the neigh- 
bouring boxes, and part of the pit. The opera was just be- 
ginning ; we only looked a moment into the theatre, which 


was very full ; after which we neither heard nor saw any- 
thing until the play was over, so much did our conversation 
occupy us. 

The regent began at once to explain the embarrassment 
he was in about the appeal urged upon him by parhament, 
who wanted to make it, also several bishops and the whole 
second order of the clergy, following the example of the 
Sorbonue. I listened without interrupting until he had 
ended, and then I began to reason. Soon after I had begun, 
he stopped me to observe that the largest number were on 
the side of the bull, and the smallest for the appeals ; that 
the bull had the pope, most of the bishops, the Jesuits, most 
of the members of Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Lazare, conse- 
quently, an infinite number of confessors, rectors, vicars, 
scattered through the towns and provinces of the kingdom, 
who led the people through their consciences ; besides the 
capuchins and a small number of other mendicant friars ; 
and the danger was that all these Unigenitarians might 
join the King of Spain agamst him, and, what with intrigues, 
and Rome behind them, become a great embarrassment. I 
hstened without interrupting, and then I asked him to hear 
me in turn uninterruptedly. I began by saying that with 
him I should not argue on religious grounds, though I could 
not avoid telling him how strange it was to treat of an 
affair of doctrine and religion with views and means that 
were purely political, and could only serve to attract God's 
wrath upon the issue ; neither could I avoid reminding him 
of all that he had thought about the iniquity of the whole 
thing and the violence of the means used in the days of the 
late king, and of all tliat he and I had confided to each 
other at the time we thought the king would carry the 
matter to parliament. [After a very long argument, in which 
the case was laid before the regent] I stopped and said no 


more, to judge of the impression I had made. It surpassed 
my expectations, but did not reassure me. I saw a man con- 
vinced by the evidence of my argument (he made no diffi- 
culty in owning this), at the same time in bonds and unable 
to free himself. He reasoned on the present state of the 
matter and the equal objections on both sides ; acknowledg- 
ing, however, the force of what I told him. Here was a 
man who was truly convinced, and, by his own admission, 
without reply to any one of the reasons I gave him, and yet 
in the travail, as it were, of cliildbirth. We had reached that 
point when the curtain fell ; each of us was surprised and 
sorry that the play was over. In spite of the hurly-burly 
produced by the haste of every one to leave the theatre, we 
still sat on a few moments longer, unable to finish the con- 
versation. I ended by telling him that the nuncio knew 
him only too well when he said that the last man who 
spoke to him was the one who spoke the truth ; and I 
warned him he was being watched by persons whom he 
thought faithful, but who were only faithful to themselves, 
their views, their interests, their intrigues ; and watched as 
by birds of prey, whose victim he would be if he did not 
take care. 

To return, however, to the appeals ; I said but too true 
to the regent as we left the theatre. He was so watched, 
by relays of watchers, that they boxed him up. He stopped 
the appeals and put all his authority into preventing that 
of the parliament. I contented myself with having con- 
vinced him, and I let him alone, without arguing again 
with a prince whom I knew to be environed in such a way 
that his pliancy and weakness made him literally incapable 
of resistance. He became at last all that they wanted, 
dragged along by their torrent ; and that which I predicted 
happened to him. If he had listened to me — or rather, if 


he had had any force of character — the bull would have 
fallen, with all its machinery and its turmoils, the Church 
of France would have lived in peace, and Eome would have 
learned from so strong a lesson not to trouble it again with 
its schemes and its ambitious pretensions. 

The Due de Noailles was seeking every expedient in the 

management of the finances, but more especially some 

means to put his own administration of them 

me^against^my uudcr cover. Hc workcd at a long memorial 

will, on a com- ^q -jqq j.qq^^ \yj j^j^^ a,t tlic Couucil of Eeo'cncy, 

mittee of finance. _ o ./ 

where it was previously announced. I have 
already remarked, and given examples, that in spite of his 
intellect, the multitude and mobihty of his ideas and views, 
which successively chased each other off either wholly or 
in part, made him incapable of concluding any work of his 
own ; neither was he ever satisfied with work done for him, 
which he would order done over again or (to use his own 
term) recast. This is why we waited so long for the docu- 
ment after it had been announced and he had prepared us, 
as much as he could, to admire it. Eight or ten days before 
it appeared at the Council of Regency the regent spoke to 
me of it and praised it, having seen certain parts of it. 
Then he told me that he should form a committee (in those 
days people talked nothing but English) of certain members 
of the Council of Eegency, before whom the Due de Noailles 
wished to explain his administration of the finances at 
greater length and with more leisure ; and also he was 
desirous of consulting the committee on certain measures 
that he intended to propose. To all this the regent added 
that the committee would assemble at the chancellor's house, 
and he wished me to be a member of it. 

I expressed my surprise and repugnance ; I reminded the 
regent of my incapacity about finances, my disgust for such 


matters, and my relations to the Due de Noailles ; I assured 
him I should be a person absolutely null on such a com- 
mittee ; one who would understand nothing ; whom the 
others could make believe what they pleased ; that I should 
be perfectly useless and only waste my time ; and I implored 
him to release me. " But," he said, " it is the Due de Noailles 
himself who wants you there ; he not only asked it, but he 
urged it." " Monsieur," I replied, " this is folly indeed ! 
Has he forgotten, and vou too, how I have ill-treated and 
abused him, I can't tell how many times, before you in pri- 
vate, and also before the Council of Eegency ? What fancy 
can he have for scenes in which he always bends his back 
and plays a miserable part ? And why should you want to 
multiply them ? " I spoke so much, and so well, or at any 
rate so strongly, that the regent made no reply and talked of 
other thmgs. I thought myself quit of the danger. 

Three or four days after this conversation the Due de 
Noailles began the reading of his memorial before the Coun- 
cil of Eegency. When he had finished, the Due d'Orl^ans, 
and nearly all present, including the presidents or heads of 
the various councils, praised it highly. After which the 
regent, passing his eyes over the assembly, said it only re- 
mained to appoint the committee, and then, almost imme- 
diately, I heard myself named first. In my surprise I 
interrupted the regent, and begged him to remember all that 
I had had the honour to say to him. He answered that he 
had not forgotten it, but that I should do him a pleasure by 
belonging to it. I replied that I should be entirely useless, 
because I positively could not understand finances, and I 
begged him to excuse me. " Monsieur," he replied in a 
kindly tone, but the tone of a regent — it was the only time 
he ever took it to me, — "I beg you to belong to it, and, since 
I am forced to say it, I command you to do so." I bowed 


low over the table, inwardly very angry, and replied, " Mon- 
sieur, you are the master ; I can only obey you ; but at least 
you will allow me to declare before these gentlemen my re- 
pugnance, and make a public admission of my incapacity as 
to finances, and my consequent uselessness on this com- 
mittee." The regent let me finish, then, without saying 
more he proceeded to name the Due de La Force, Mardchal 
de Villeroy, the Due de NoaiUes, Marechal de Besons, 
Pelletier-Sousy, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, and the Marquis 

Not being able to avoid this bomb-shell, in spite of all that 
I had done, I thought I had better not show annoyance and 
give that pleasure to the Due de NoaiUes, nor get my ears 
pulled for lack of assiduity at the committee and punctuality 
to the hours. We assembled tliree or four times a week 
between three and four o'clock, and the session rarely lasted 
less than three hours. As the committee continued for over 
three months I shall not say more here, but wiU return to 
it later. 

By an extremely rare chance a man employed in the dia- 
mond mines of the Great Mogul found means to insert one 
of enormous size into his rectum ; and what is 

I cause the pur- ' 

chase of the dia- more remarkable still, he reached the coast and 

mond afterwards i • i 

called " the was allowed to embark without the precaution 

^^^"*' invariably taken with all passengers whose 

name and place of employment are not known, namely, that 
of giving them a purgative and an injection, to recover what- 
ever they might have swallowed or hidden. Apparently he 
was not suspected of having been to the mines, or of having 
any dealings in precious stones. As a crown of good luck, he 
reached Europe safely with his diamond. He showed it to 
several princes, whose wealth was not sufficient for the pur- 
chase. Then he took it to England, where the king admired 


it, but could not resolve to buy it. A crystal model of it was 
made in England ; and the man, the model, and the diamond 
were despatched to Law, who proposed to the regent to buy 
the stone. The price alarmed the regent, and he refused. 

Law, who thought on a large scale about many things, 
came to me quite disturbed, and brought the model I 
thought, as he did, that it did not become the grandeur of the 
King of France to be deterred by the cost from purchasing a 
thing unique in the world and quite inestimable ; and the 
more other potentates had not dared to think of it, the more 
we should be careful not to let it escape us. Law, dehghted 
that I should think in that way, begged me to speak to the 
Due d'Orl^ans. The state of the finances was an obstacle on 
which the regent insisted strongly. He feared blame for 
making so large a purchase wliile there was so much diffi- 
culty in meeting pressing necessities, and such numbers of 
people were suffering. I praised that sentiment ; but I told 
him he ought not to use it for the greatest king in Europe 
as he would for a private individual, who would be very 
reprehensible indeed to give a hundred thousand francs for 
his own adornment if he owed debts and had not the where- 
withal to pay them. I said he ought to consider the honour 
of the crown, and not throw away this unique opportunity of 
obtainuig a priceless stone, w^hich eclipsed all others in 
Europe ; I also said it would be a glory for his regency 
which would always last ; and that no matter what was the 
state of the finances, this amount of saving would not help 
them much. In short, I did not leave the Due d'Orl^ans 
until I had obtained from him a promise to purchase the 

Law, before speaking to me, had said so much to the 
merchant about the impossibihty of selhng the stone for the 
price he asked, and the injury and loss in cutting it up, 


that he brought him down at last to two millions of francs, 
with the parings that would come from cutting. The bargain 
was concluded on those terms. The man was paid the 
interest on two millions until they could give him the 
principal, with possession of two millions of precious stones 
as security ; which he was to keep until payment in full of 
the two millions in money was made to him. 

The Due d'Orleans was agreeably disappointed by the 
applause which the pubhc gave to this fine and unique ac- 
quisition. The diamond was called " the Eegent." It is 
the size of a Eeine Claude plum, almost round in shape, of a 
thickness equal to its width, perfectly white, free from all 
blemish, cloud, or speck, of admirable water, and weighing 
more than five hundred grains. I congratulated myself 
much on having induced the regent to make so illustrious 
a purchase.-^ 

Peter I., Czar of Moscovy, has justly made himself so 

great a name in his own land and throughout all Europe 

and Asia that I shall not undertake to make 

The czar, Peter 

I., comes to kuowu a princc so great, so illustrious, com- 

parable only to the greatest men of antiquity, 
who has made himself the admiration of the age, and will 
be that of centuries still to come. The singularity of a 
journey to France by a prince so extraordinary seems to me 
an event that deserves to be unforgotten, the narration of 
which should not be interrupted. For this reason I place 
it here, a little later than it ought to be in the order of 
time, but the dates will rectify this error. 

We have seen that he wished to come to France in the 
last years of the late king, who civilly evaded his visit. 
That obstacle no longer existing, he again wished to gratify 
his curiosity, and sent word to the regent through Prince 

1 It is now improperly called the "Pitt diamond." — Tb. 


Kurakin, his ambassador here, that he was about to leave 
Holland to come and see the king. There was nothing to do 
but to seem pleased, though the regent would wilhngly have 
been spared the visit. The expense of it was great; the 
awkwardness not less so, with a prince so powerful and so 
clear-sighted, but so full of fancies, with the remains of bar- 
barism about him, and accompanied by an immense suite of 
persons whose behaviour was very different from that of our 
own people, and who were full of caprices and strange habits, 
• — and their master and themselves very sensitive and very 
exacting about what they thought their due and their 
rights. Moreover, the czar was at open enmity with the 
King of England, — an enmity that went to the verge of in- 
decency, and was all the more bitter because it was personal. 
This was a thing that harassed the regent not a Httle, because 
his own intimacy with the King of England was pubhc, and 
had been brought about by the personal interests of the 
Abbd Dubois, also to the verge of indecency. The dominant 
passion of the czar was to make his country" flourishing 
through commerce. He had made a great number of canals 
to facihtate this. There was one for which he needed the 
concurrence of the King of England, because it had to cross 
a little corner of his German States. Commercial jealousy 
kept George from consenting. Peter, engaged in the war 
with Poland, then in that of the North, in which George 
also took part, requested this compliance in vain. That was 
the source of their hatred, which lasted all their Hves with 
the utmost bitterness. 

Tills great monarch, who wanted to draw both himself 
and his country out of barbarism, and extend his power by 
Motives of the couqucsts and treaties, had seen the necessity 
trbec°o'^i^'^a ""^ °^ marriages to ally him with the first potentates 
Catholic. of Europe. This reason made the Catholic 

>/>/ // 6 / 



religion necessary to him, — that religion being so little 
separated from the Greek faith that he thought there would 
be no difficulty in gettmg it received among his people, leav- 
ing them, however, entire hberty of conscience. But this 
intelligent prince was sufficiently intelligent to desire to be 
fully enhghtened beforehand as to Roman pretensions. For 
this purpose he sent to Rome an obscure man, though one 
who was capable of informing himself, who, after passing six 
months in that city, brought back to him nothing satisfactory. 
The czar unbosomed himself on the matter in Holland to 
King Wilham, who dissuaded him from his purpose and 
advised him to imitate England and make himself the head 
of the religion of his own country, without which he would 
never be really master of it. This advice pleased the czar, 
all the more because it was through the wealth and au- 
thority of the patriarchs of Moscow, his grandfather and 
his great-grandfather, that his father had obtained the 
crown, although of ordinary condition among the Russian 

Nevertheless, the passion to open to his posterity the 
means of making marriages with CathoHc princes, above all, 
the honour of allying it to the houses of France and Austria, 
made him return after a while to his first project. He 
persuaded himself that the man he had sent secretly to 
Rome was not well-informed, or had not understood the 
matter ; he resolved to fathom his doubts, so that none might 
remain as to the course he ought to take. With this design 
he fixed on Prince Kurakin, whose inteUigence and insight 
were well known to him, to go to Rome under pretence of 
travelling for curiosity, — believing that a seigneur of his 
quality would obtain an entrance to all that was best, most 
important, and most distinguished in Rome ; and also that 
by living there under pretext of loving the life, wishing to 


see all at his ease, and to admire the marvels of all kinds 
there collected, he would have leisure and opportunity to 
become well informed on all that the czar was desirous of 
knowing. Kurakin stayed in Eome tliree years, mingling 
with learned men on the one hand and the very best society 
on the other, from whom, little by little, he drew all that 
he wanted to know, with the more facility because that 
Court openly triumphs in its temporal pretensions and its 
conquests in that Hne, instead of holding them secretly. 
At the long and faithful report which Kurakin made to 
his master the czar heaved a sigh, saying that he must be 
master in his own land and could not put it in the power 
of any one who was greater; after that he never thought 
a^ain of making himself a Catholic. 

That is the good that popes and their Court do to the 
Church, tlie good that these vicars of Jesus Christ procure 
for the souls whom He redeemed, and of whom they ought 
to be tbe great pastors ; souls for which they have to answer 
to the Sovereign Pastor, who declared to Saint Peter and the 
other apostles that his kingdom was not of this world ; and 
who asked those two brothers, when they wanted him to 
judge of their quarrel about their heritage, " "VYho made me a 
judge in such matters over you ? " — and would do no good 
work for them except to reconcile those brothers, in order to 
teach pastors and priests by so great and clear an example 
that they not only have no power and no rights over the 
temporal for any reasons whatsoever, but that they are 
especially excluded from them. 

This fact about the czar and Eome, Prince Kurakin did not 
conceal. All who knew it heard it from him ; I often dined 
with him and he with me, and have talked with him and 
heard him, with pleasure, discourse of this and many other 


The regent, informed by Kurakin of the czar's approaching 
arrival in France by the maritime coast, sent the king's 
His arrival in cquipagcs, horscs. Carriages, coaches, f ourgons, 
P^"s- tables, and beds, with du Libois, one of the 

king's gentlemen-in-ordmary, to await the czar at Dunkerque, 
pay all expenses to Paris for himself and suite, and to show him 
the same honours as to the king himself. The czar proposed 
to give a hundred days to the trip. The apartment of the 
queen-mother at the Louvre was furnished for him. The 
reo-ent discussing with me the man of rank he had better 
choose to attend the czar during the time of his visit, I 
suggested Mar^chal de Tess^ as a man who had nothing 
to do, was well versed in the language and usages of the 
world, knew much of foreigners through his travels in Spain 
and Italy, and was very gentle and polite. The regent 
thought I was right, sent for him the next day, and gave 
him his orders. The hotel de Lesdiguieres was also prepared 
for the czar and his suite, under the supposition that he 
might prefer a private house, with all his people around him, 
to the Louvre. 

The czar arrived on Friday, May 7, and reached the Louvre 
at nine in the evening. He went all over the apartment 
of the queen-mother, thought it too magnificently fur- 
nished and too light, and immediately got back into the 
carriage and drove to the hotel de Lesdiguiferes, where he 
preferred to lodge. He thought the apartment prepared 
for him also too fine, and ordered his camp-bed to be set 
up in a dressing-room. Mar(5chal de Tess^, who was to do 
the honours of the house and table and accompany him 
wherever he went, had much ado to follow him, and even 
to rush after him. 

The monarch excited wonder by his extreme curiosity, 
which always related to his ideas of government, commerce, 

VOL. IV. — 8 


education, police ; and this curiosity looked into everything 
and despised nothing, however slight, that had consistent, 
Great qualities evident, and wise utility; he esteemed only 
of the czar. ^j^^^ wliich dcscrvcd esteem; in which he 

showed the intelligence, discrimination, and quick apprehen- 
sion of his mind. Everything about him proved the wide 
extent of his ideas and something that was unfailingly con- 
sistent. He alhed, in a manner altogether surprising, the 
loftiest, proudest, most sensitive, sustained, and at the same 
time least embarrassing majesty with a politeness that made 
itself felt at all times, though still as the master. He had a 
sort of familiarity which came from liberty ; but he was not 
exempt from a strong tincture of the ancient barbarism of 
( his country, which made his manners quick, even precipitate, 
I his whims uncertain, and himself incapable of enduring 
i restraint or contradiction to any of them. His meals were 
\ often scarcely decent; still less what followed them, often 
I with a betrayal of the audacity of a king who felt himself 
I everywhere at home. What he desired to see or do was 
always in perfect independence of the means of accom- 
1 plishment, which had to be forced to his pleasure at a 
I word. The desire to see at his ease, the annoyance of 
being made a spectacle, the habit of hberty in all things, 
made him often prefer a hired carriage, even a fiacre. He 
would jump into the first vehicle that came in his way, 
belonging often to people who had come to his house, 
and order the coachman to drive him about town or into the 
country. This happened to Mme. de Matignon, who had 
gone to gape at him, and was much astonished to find her- 
self obliged to go home on foot; for he took her carriage 
to Boulogne and other places in the country. At such times 
Mar^chal de Tess^ and his suite, from whom he was often 
escaping, had to fly after him, often not finding him. 


He was a very tall man, very well made, rather thin, the 
face somewhat round ; a grand forehead ; beautiful eyebrows ; 
His face, clothes, ^^^^ ^^se a little shoit, but not too much so, 
and food. thick at the end ; lips rather thick ; complexion 

brown and ruddy ; very fine black eyes, large, vivid, piercing, 
and well-shaped ; his glance majestic, and gracious when he 
meant it to be so, otherwise stern and fierce ; and with all 
this a tic, which was not frequent but convulsed his eyes and 
his whole face and was very alarming. It lasted a moment, 
with a wandering, terrible look, and then he recovered 
immediately. His whole air showed his mind, his reflection, 
his grandeur, and was not without a certain grace. He never 
wore any but a linen collar, a round, brown wig, without 
powder, which did not touch his shoulders, a brown coat 
tight to the body, plain, with gold buttons, waistcoat, breeches 
and stockings, no gloves and no cuffs ; the star of his order 
on his coat and the ribbon across it, the coat itself often 
unbuttoned; his hat on a table, never on his head, even 
out of doors. In this simphcity, however ill-attended or 
ill-vehicled he might be, it was impossible to mistake the 
air of grandeur that was natural to him. 

"What he ate and drank at two regular meals is inconceiv- 
able, — not counting all the beer he swallowed, and the lemon- 
ade and other kinds of drink between meals ; and all his suite 
much more. A bottle or two of beer, as much and some- 
times more of wine, liqueur-wines on that, and, at the end of 
the meal, prepared brandy, half a pint, sometimes a whole 
pint ; this was about the ordinary amount he drank at each 
meal, but his suite while at table swallowed more, and were 
eating besides from eleven in the morning till eight at night. 
There was a priest-almoner who dined at the table of the 
czar and ate half as much again as any of them ; which 
amused the czar, who was fond of him, very much. Prince 


Kurakin went every day to the hotel de Lesdiguiferes, but he 
lodged at home. 

The czar understood French very well, and could, I think, 
have spoken it had he chosen ; but, out of grandeur, he had 
au interpreter. As for Latin and other languages, he spoke 
them very well. He had a guard-room and a company of 
the king's guards, but he would never let them follow him 
out of doors. He would not leave the house, no matter how 
great his curiosity was, or give any sign of life, until he had 
received a visit from the king. 

Saturday morning, the day after his arrival, the regent 
went to see him. The monarch came out of his cabinet. 
Journal of the made a fcw steps towards him, embraced him 
czar's visit. ^j^j^ ^ great air of superiority, pointed to the 

door of his cabinet, and turning instantly, without any civil- 
ity, entered it first himself. The regent followed, and Prince 
Kurakin after him. The conversation lasted an hour, with- 
out a word on public affairs ; then the czar left his cabinet, 
the regent after him, and then the latter, with a profound 
bow, only half returned, took leave. 

The following Monday, May 10, the king went to see the 
czar, who received him at the carriage door, saw him get out, 
and walked before him, on the king's left side, to his room, 
where there were two armchah-s. The king sat down in the 
one to the right, the czar in the one to the left. Prince 
Kurakin served as interpreter. Every one had been aston- 
ished to see the czar pick up the king under his two arms, 
lift him to the level of his face, and kiss him, as it were, in 
the air, while the king, young as he was, who could not have 
been prepared for this, was not the least frightened. People 
were also struck with the graces he showed before the king, 
the air of tenderness he had for him, and a politeness that 
seemed to come from liis heart, though always mingled with 


grandeur, claims of equal rank, and, slightly, of superiority of 
rank; all of which he made distinctly felt. He praised the 
king and seemed charmed with him. He kissed him several 
times. The king made his short little comphment very 
prettily ; and the Due du Maine and the Mardchal de Ville- 
roy and other distinguished persons who were present sup- 
plied the conversation. 

Tuesday, May 11, the czar returned the king's visit, with 
the same ceremonial, between four and five o'clock. He 
had already gone as early as eight m the morning to see 
the Places Koyale, des Victoires, and Vendome, and the 
next day he went to the Observatoire, the manufactory of 
the Gobelins, and the Jardin du Eoi for simples. Wher- 
ever he went, he examined everything and asked many 

Friday, 14th, he went at six o'clock in the morning to the 
great gallery of the Louvre to see the plans in rehef of all 
the king's fortresses. The Mar^chal de Villars was there 
with several lieutenant-generals to explain them. He ex- 
amined the plans a long time ; then he visited many parts 
of the Louvre, and descended afterwards mto the gardens of 
the Tuileries, which the pubhc had been made to leave. They 
were working then on the Pont Tournant. He examined 
that work minutely and stayed there a long time. In the 
evening the Due d'Orl^ans came to take him to the Opera in 
the state box ; the two alone in the front seats. After a time 
the czar asked if there would be no beer. It was immedi- 
ately brought in a great goblet in a saucer. The regent rose, 
took it, and presented it to the czar, who with a smile and a 
bow of politeness, took the goblet, drank it off, and then 
without any ceremony put it back on the saucer which the 
regent still held. At the fourth act he went away to supper, 
but would not let the regent follow. The next day he threw 


himself into a hired coach and went to see matters of inter- 
est among workmen. 

May 16, Whitsunday, he went to the Invalides where 
he wanted to see and examine everything. In the refectory 
he tasted the soldiers' soup and their wine, drank to their 
health, slapping them on the shoulder and caUing them com- 
rades. He admired the church, the dispensary, the infirmary, 
and seemed charmed with the order of the establishment. 
Mardchal de Villars did the honours. 

Wednesday, 19th, he busied himself with workmen, and 
various work. The Duchesse de Berry and the Duchesse 
d'Orl^ans sent their equerries to compliment him. They 
had both hoped for a compHment themselves, or even a 
visit. The czar rephed that he w^ould go and thank them. 
He was displeased that the princes of the blood made a 
difficulty of going to see him unless they were assured that 
he would pay a visit to the pruicesses of the blood. This he 
rejected with great haughtiness, so that none of them saw 
him except, to gratify their curiosity, in the streets. 

Monday, 24th, he went to the Tuileries early before 
the king was up. Mardchal de Villeroy showed him the 
crown jewels. He thought them very fine and many more 
than he expected, but said he kuew^ nothing about such 
things. He made rather a point of not caring for beauty 
that was purely of wealth and imagination ; especially such 
as he could not himself attain. Then he went to see the king, 
who met him half-way, in Mar^chal de Villeroy's apartment. 
This was arranged so as to seem an accidental visit without 
ceremony. The king held a roll of paper in his hand and 
gave it to the czar, telling him it was a map of his States. 
This little gallantry pleased the czar immensely. His poHte- 
ness and air of affection and friendship were the same as 
before, but always with majesty and equahty. 


After dinner he went to Versailles, where Mar^chal de 
Tess^ left him to the Due d'Antin, chargmg him to do the 
GoestoVer- honours. Tiicsday, 25th, he roamed all over 

sauies and sees ^-^^ crardens and sailed on the grand canal, 

Trianon and ^ ^ 

Marly. very early in the morning before dAntin came 

to him. He saw all Versailles, Trianon, and the Menagerie. 
His principal suite were lodged in the chateau. They 
brought with them ladies, who slept in the apartment of 
Mme. de Maintenon. Bloin, governor of the chateau, was 
extremely scandahzed at such a profanation of that temple 
of prudery, of which the goddess and he, now aged, would 
have thought much less in former days. 

Sunday, May 30, he went to Fontainebleau, where he slept ; 
the next day to hunt the stag, with the Comte de Toulouse 
to do the honours. The place did not please him much, and 
the hunt not at all, for he nearly fell from his horse ; he 
thought the exercise too violent, and he really knew nothing 
of hunting. He chose to dine alone with his own people on 
the lie de I'Etang, where they made amends to themselves 
for their fatigues. He returned alone in a carriage with 
three of his people. It appeared in that carriage that they 
had eaten largely and drunk much. 

Friday, June 11, he went from Versailles to Saint-Cyr, 

where he saw the whole establishment and the young ladies 

in their classes. He was received like the 

Makes Mme. de 

Maintenon an in- king. Hc wishcd to scc Mmc. de Maiutcnon, 
mg visi . ^^\yQ^ apprehensive of this curiosity, went to 

bed, with all her curtains closed except one that was only 
half open. The czar entered her room, went to the windows 
and pulled back the curtains on arriving, and immediately 
after those of the bed ; gazed at Mme. de Maintenon at his 
ease, said not a word to her, nor she to him, and without 
making her any sort of bow went away. I heard afterwards 


that she was much astonished and still more mortified ; but 
Louis XIV. was no longer living. The czar returned to 
Paris Saturday, June 12. 

Tuesday, June 15, he went early to d'Antin's house in 
Paris. Working that day with the regent, I finished in half 
I go to see the ^^ ^°^^ 5 he was Surprised and wanted to de- 
czar at d'Antin's tain me. I told him that I could always have 


the honour of seeing him, but not the czar, who 
was going away and whom I had not yet seen, and there- 
fore I was going to d'Antin's house to gape at my ease. No 
one was to be there but invited guests and a few ladies with 
Mme. la Duchesse and her daughters, who were also going 
to gape. I entered the garden where the czar was walking 
about. Mar^chal de Tess^ saw me from afar and came to 
me, expectmg to present me. I begged him not to do so, 
and not to seem even to notice me in the czar's presence, 
because I wanted to look at him wholly at my ease, to hover 
about him and wait as long as I liked to contemplate him, 
which I could not do if I was known. I begged him to tell 
d'Antin the same thing ; and, with that precaution, I satis- 
fied my curiosity as I pleased. I found him rather talkative, 
but always as being in everything the master. He entered a 
cabinet, where d'Antin showed him various plans and curi- 
osities, about which he asked many questions. It was there 
that I saw the tic I mentioned. I asked Tess^ if it happened 
often ; he said yes, several times a day, especially when he 
was not on the watch to control himself. Eeturning to 
the garden, d'Antin had the windows of the ground-floor 
apartment thrown open, and told him that Mme. la Duchesse 
and other ladies were there and had a great desire to see 
him. He made no answer, but allowed himself to be con- 
ducted past the house. He walked slower, turned his head 
to the apartment, where they were all standing and under 


arms, but as sight-seers. He looked at them well, made a 
very slight inclination of the head to the whole party and 
passed haughtily on. I think from the way he received 
other ladies he would have shown more politeness to these if 
Mme. la Duchesse had not been there ; he was displeased by 
the pretension of the princesses of the blood about his visit. 
I was there about an hour and did not cease looking at him. 
In the end I saw that he noticed it, and that made me more 
cautious in the fear that he would ask who I was. 

The king gave him two magnificent Gobelins tapestries. 
He wanted also to give him a beautiful sword with diamonds, 
which the czar excused himself from accepting. On his side, 
he distributed about sixty thousand francs to the king's ser- 
vants who had waited on him, and gave d'Antin and the 
Marechals de Tess^ and d'Estr^es each his portrait set in 
diamonds, five gold medals, and eleven silver ones, relating 
to the principal actions of his life. 

Wednesday, June 16, he was on horseback at a review of 
the two regiments of the guards, the gendarmes, the light- 
horse cavalry, and the mousquetaires. No one was with 
him but the Due d'Orl^ans. He scarcely looked at the 
troops, and they perceived it. 

Friday, June 18, the regent went early to the hotel de 
Lesdigui^res to take leave of the czar, and was some time 
His departure ; with Mm. After tliis visit, the czar went to 
iuxury"of France; ^^^ Tuilerics to bid adicu to the king; by 
his prophecy. agreement there was no ceremony. It would 
have been impossible to show more intelligence, grace, and 
tenderness for the king than the czar displayed on all these 
occasions. The luxury he saw surprised him much ; he 
was much moved on parting with the king and with France, 
and said he saw with grief that luxury would prove her 
destruction. He went away, charmed with the manner in 


which he had been received, with all that he had seen, the 
liberty he had enjoyed, and showing a great desire to unite 
himself closely with the king, to which the interests of the 
Abb6 Dubois and England proved a fatal obstacle, for which 
the country has often had, and still has, great reason to 

One can never finish about this czar, so essentially and 

truly great; whose siagularity and rare variety of great 

talents and many grandeurs will always make 

His passionate , . , ,-i p t ■ • 

desire to unite him a mouarch worthy ot admiration to even 
fI'^cI*^'^'^'' remote posterity, in spite of the great defects 

of barbarism in his origin, his native country, 
and education. This is the reputation he left behind him 
in France, which regarded him as a wonder, with whom she 
has ever since remained fascinated. The czar had a pas- 
sionate desire to unite himself with France. Nothino- could 
have been better for our commerce, and for our considera- 
tion in the North, in Germany, and indeed throughout 
Europe. This prince held England in a leash through her 
commerce, and King George in fear for his German States. 
He also held Holland to great respect, and the emperor to 
circumspection. It cannot be denied that his was a great 
figure in Europe and Asia, and that France would have 
profited infinitely by a closer alliance with him. He did not 
like the emperor ; he wished to loosen little by little our 
dependence on England ; and it was England which made 
us deaf to his invitations, even to incivility. In vain I 
pressed the regent on this point, and gave him reasons, of 
which he felt the full force, and to which he could make no 
reply. But by this time his bewitchment with the Abbd 
Dubois, aided by d'Eflfiat, Canillac, and the Due de NoaiHes, 
was stronger than reasons. Since then we have indeed 
had cause for long repentance over the fatal charms of 


England, and the foolish contempt with which we treated 
Eussia. The evils that resulted have never ceased ; and we 
have now opened our eyes only to see clearly the irreparable 
ruin sealed by the ministry of M. le Due, followed by that 
of Cardinal Fleury. 

When Prince Kurakin was in Eome (for reasons already 
explained), he had led the pope to hope that the czar would 
grant free exercise to the Catholic religion in Russia. The 
pope believed that Bentivoglio could obtain this by speaking 
to the czar, but thinking that the latter's stay in Paris would 
be too short to consummate an agreement, he told Bentivoglio 
to induce him to receive a nuncio at the Russian Court, 
with or without that character. The pope, however, did not 
wish the negotiation to be carried on in Paris under the re- 
gent's eye without informing the latter of what was going on. 
He therefore directed Bentivoglio to tell the regent, but to say 
nothing of certain secret orders he had sent him to induce 
the czar to join with the emperor in a war against the Turks. 

The czar meantime had told Mar^chal de Tess^ that he 

was not averse to recognizing the pope, as the head orthodox 

patriarch ; but that he would never consent 

Why he did ^ ' 

rot become a to a Certain subjection which the Court of 
Rome assumed to impose on princes to the 
prejudice of their sovereignty ; that he was very willing to 
believe the pope infallible, but only as the head of the 
Council-general. The fact is, truth and reason are of all 
lands, and this monarch, still almost a barbarian, was teach- 
ing us an excellent lesson. 

During the fete of Saint Louis, the orchestra of the Opera 

is accustomed to give the gratuitous entertainment of a fine 

concert in the Garden of the Tuileries. The 

Choice lesson of 

Marechaide Villa- prcscncc of the king ill that palace drew a 
roy o e ing. gj-gater crowd than usual this year, in the hope 


of seeing him appear on the terraces, which are on a level 
with the royal apartments. A marked increase of zeal 
and loyalty was visible, shown by the number of those 
who flocked mto the gardens, and also into the courtyards 
on the other side of the palace. They did not leave one 
vacant space, either on the ground and at the windows, 
or on all the roofs that commanded a view of the Tuileries. 
The Mardchal de Villeroy had the greatest difficulty in per- 
suading the king to show himself, first on the garden side 
and then towards the courtyard, where, as soon as he ap- 
peared, the cries of " Vive le roi ! " resounded on all sides. 
The marechal, making the king take notice of this enormous 
multitude, said to him sententiously : " See, my master, see 
this people, this influx, this vast number of persons, — all 
are yours, you are their master ; " and this lesson he repeated 
again and again to impress it well upon him. He was 
afraid, apparently, lest he should grow up ignorant of his 
power. The admirable dauphin, his father, had received 
very different lessons, by which he profited. He was deeply 
convinced that while power is given to kings to command 
and govern, the peoples do not belong to kings, but kings to 
their people, to do them justice, to make them live accord- 
ing to laws, to render them happy by the equity, wisdom, 
gentleness, and moderation of their government. That is 
what I have often heard him say with effusion of heart and 
inward conviction, in the desire and firm resolution to con- 
duct himself accordingly, not only in private when I was 
working with him for the future of such principles, but 
openly in the salon at Marly, to the admiration and delight 
of those who heard him. 

An amusement suited to the king's age made a serious 
quarrel about this time. A tent had been set up for him on 
the terrace of the Tuileries, before his apartment and on a 


level with it. The games of kings have always some dis- 
tinction attached to them. He took it into his head to 
Quarrel about the havc mcdals, and give them to the courtiers of 
™^'^^^- his own age whom lie wished to favour; and 

these medals, when possessed, gave the right to enter the 
tent without being otherwise invited. This was called the 
" Order of the Pavihon." The Marechal de Villeroy gave 
directions to Leffevre to make the medals. He obeyed and 
brought them to the mardchal, who presented them to the 
king. Leffevre was silversmith to the king's household, and, 
as such, under the orders of the gentlemen of the Bed- 
chamber. The Due de Mortemart, who was one of the 
latter, was on duty. He had had several squabbles already 
with Marechal de Villeroy. He now declared that it was 
for himself to order the medals, and present them to the 
king. He was very angry that all was done without his 
knowledge, and he carried his complaint to the regent. It 
was the merest trifle and not worth notice ; not one of the 
three other gentlemen of the Bedchamber took any part in 
the matter. The Due d'Orl^ans, with his customary niezzo- 
termine, said that Lef^vre had not made and carried the 
medals to the marechal as silversmith to the king's house- 
hold, but as having received through the mardchal an order 
from the king, and that no one was to say anything more 
about it. The Due de Mortemart was incensed, and did 
not restrain his tongue about the marechal. 

The Abb^ Dubois, on a recent visit to England, had found 
the Prince of Wales arrested and confined to his own apart- 
Hatredofthe uicnt, without bciug allowed to see any one 
tothe°Princl^of ^^^^ ^^^ ncccssary attendant. He wrote two 
Wales. letters to the king, his father, which irritated 

the latter still more, so that he sent an order to the prince, 
on receiving the second, to leave the palace. He was .lodged 


by Lord Lumley in London, and soon after established him- 
self a few miles from London in the little village of Eich- 
mond. All Europe had known of the homble catastrophe 
of Count Konigsmarck, whom George, at that time Duke of 
Hanover, had caused to be flung iato a hot oven, at the same 
time puttmg the duchess, his wife, into a castle carefully 
guarded, where she had little or no liberty until George was 
made King of England. This prince could not endure his 
son, under the conviction that he was not his own ; and the 
son could not endure the father, from anger and vexation at 
this conviction, continually and openly marked, and from 
indignation at the cruel treatment shown to his mother. 
His wife, Charlotte of Braudebourg-Anspach, was a princess 
of spirit, affable, virtuous, and extremely liked in England, 
standing very well with her husband and also with her 
father-in-law, between whom she constantly put herself. 
The King of England offered to let her continue to live in 
the palace with her children, but she preferred to follow her 

The finance committee, which met several times a week, 

kept on its way. The Due de Noailles presented, as he 

wished, the present state of the finances. 

Committee on 

finance ; my pro- showcd theiT embarrassmcnts, offered expedi- 

posal for reform. , , i x ^i 

ents, and read memoranda, i was there, as 
I have said, against my will; and this financial language, 
of which they have managed to make a science that is 
Greek to others, invented to hide knowledge from those 
who are not initiated into it, and whom magistrates, ne- 
gotiators, and bankers wish to keep in the dark, — this 
language, I say, was totally unknown to me. Neverthe- 
less, as my constant maxim has ever been that personal 
inclination should be banished from pubUc affairs, together 
with over-respect for persons and things and prejudice, I 
listened with all my ears, in spite of my dislike of the sub- 
ject ; and what I did not understand I was not ashamed to 
acknowledge and ask to have explained to me. This was 
the result of my avowal of ignorance in finance, which I had 
made so plain at the Council of Regency when trying to 
excuse myself from being on this committee. 

It happened quite often that, there being diversity of 
opinions and sometimes rather sharp ones, I found myself on 
the side of the Due de Noailles, and that I argued hotly in 
support of him. The chancellor afterwards complimented 
me on this. The Due d'Orldans, to whom they both told it, 
assured them he was not at all surprised, but he did not fail 
to let me know his satisfaction. I said to him, and also to 


the chancellor, that the opinion of the Due de NoaiUes, 
good or bad, and Iris individual person, were to me two 
things absolutely distinct and separate ; that I sought for 
the good and the true, and attached myself to them wherever 
I thought I found them, just as I stiffened myself against 
whatever I thought o]3posed to them ; that in this latter case 
it might be that I should speak harder and firmer if it were 
the opinion of the Due de Noailles that I was fighting ; but 
also I could be of his opinion witliout repugnance when I 
thought it good, and at such times I rose to support him 
strongly for the good and the true when I saw him attacked, 
without, for all that, changing my feelings as to him 

The work of the committee coming to an end, and nearly 
aU the opinions agreeing on each point, I went to see the 
chancellor in private, and told him I came to communicate 
an idea I liad not Uked to risk in the committee, and to 
reason about it with him, and, if he thought it good, to pro- 
pose it, he and I, to the regent ; if not, to forget all about it. 
I told him that, worried to see the difficulty which there was, 
even in these times of peace, in making the king's receipts 
equal his expenses, I thought it would be weU to reduce the 
gendarmerie, the light-horse of the guard, and the two com- 
panies of mousquetaires, increasing by two brigades each 
the four companies of the body-guard. 

The chancellor hked all the reasons that I gave him ex- 
ceedingly. But when we came to discuss, not the means of 
convincing the regent, because the evidence was palpable, but 
the execution of this reform, we both agreed that we should 
never succeed in inspiring him with sufficient resolution ; or, 
if he did, against our expectation, undertake it, the outcries 
and factions of interested parties would never let him exe- 
cute it. This amazing weakness, which constantly ruined a 


regency that miglit have been so fine, so useful to the king- 
dom, so glorious for the regent, the results of which could 
have been in all ways of such great advantage to the nation, 
was the continual obstacle to all good, and a perpetual cause 
of sorrow to those who sincerely desired the well-being of the 
State and the glory of the regent. We finally admitted, the 
chancellor and I, that if we proposed to the regent so useful 
a reform it would never be accomplished, and that all the 
results we should get for our zeal would be the hatred of 
interested parties. This consideration closed our lips, and the 
matter was known only to ourselves. 

The long and wearisome work of the committee was over ; 
it assembled several times in the regent's cabinet, where the 
Resolutions of final rcsolutious were passed unanimously. 
mldeTi^oaT The principal ones were: that the rentes of 
^'^^^^- the Hotel de Ville [government securities] 

should not be meddled with ; that the tithe tax should be 
taken off, as much to keep the promise, solemnly made at the 
time it was imposed, to suppress it in times of peace, as 
because, in point of fact, very httle was really derived from 
it. The grant of one million and two hundred thousand 
francs a year to the building account was reduced to one- 
half; several withdrawals of pensions uselessly given, and 
reduction of others were made ; the king's private money, of 
ten thousand francs a month, and his wardrobe, of thirty-six 
thousand, were reduced, the first to half, the second to twenty- 
four thousand francs. At the king's present age the latter 
went chiefly in pillage. There were several other things cut 
down, and a diminution of interest decreed on the sums 
borrowed at four per cent. The chiefs and presidents of all 
the councils were summoned to a special meeting, at which 
the Due de Noailles rendered an account of what had been 
agreed to in the committee. It was voted that an edict in 

VOL. IV. — 9 


conformity thereto should be drawn up and sent to parlia- 
ment to be enregistered. 

This seemed to the parliament too fine an opportunity to 
be lost. Messieurs declared that they must see a detailed 
account of the revenues and expenses of the king before they 
could decide to enregister the edict. The president went to 
report this difficulty to the regent, who, the next day, received 
a deputation from the parliament, to whom he said that he 
should allow no attack on the royal authority as long as he 
was the guardian of it. Parliament assembled soon after and 
registered the suppression of the tithe, of various extortions, 
and some of the other articles. As for those that remained, 
the Due d'Orl^ans had the weakness, instigated by the fright 
of the Due de Noailles and his own desire to court the 
parliament, to have them discussed between the duke and 
the fourteen members of the deputation in his presence. 
This took place on Sunday, September 5, on whicli occasion 
the regent brought in the Sieur Law, that he might explain 
the advantages that could be derived from the Company 
of the Mississippi. Of all this, not a word to the Council 
of Kegency, still less to me privately ; therefore I, on my 
side, said not a word to the Due d'Orl^ans, as, indeed, my 
custom was in relation to parliament. 

The Due de Noailles, jealous of the confidence the regent 

felt in Law and of the great success of his bank, did all he 

could to trouble it. Law went quietly on, but 

Manoeuvre of the 

Due de Noailles hc somctimcs complaincd of this, modestly, 
in regar to aw. •j^j-^^-'^-^gg^ ^j^^ wautcd to be rid of him, so as 

to be fully master of all the finances himself, set all machines 
at work to overthrow him. The bank was by this time one 
of the chief means to keep matters going. The regent there- 
fore wanted the pair reconciled. Law was ready in all good 
faith, and as the Due de NoaiUes could not well draw back 


he made the finest pretence of reconciliation externally. 
Precisely at this lucky moment Mornay died, very suddenly. 
He was lieutenant-general, and also governor and captain of 
Saint-Germain. NoaiUes, alert to all things, heard of this 
death on waking, and rushed instantly to the Due d'Orldans 
to ask for the post, which was given to him immediately. 
My father had had it. I did not hear of Mornay's death till 
the afternoon, and, at the same time, of Noailles' activity. It 
was not easy to get up earher than he. 

Nevertheless, NoaiUes, always jealous of Law, went on 
troubling his bank and his schemes. Not only did he bar 
Law's way by the manoeuvres and authority of his office in 
the finances, but he stirred up against him in the councils 
and in parliament all the opponents that he could, and among 
them they often stopped and even frustrated plans that were 
perfectly reasonable. Law, who, as I have explained, came to 
see me every Tuesday morning, was continually complaining 
of this, and showing me the injury that this perpetual thwart- 
ing was doing to the business of the bank. I have often 
owned my incapacity in the matter of finances ; but there are 
things that sometimes depend on good sense more than on 
knowledge ; and Law, with his strong Scotch accent, had the 
rare gift of explaining himself in so plain, and clear, and in- 
telligible a way that he could not fail to be perfectly under- 
stood and comprehended. The Due d'Orleans liked him and 
enjoyed him. He looked upon him and all that he did as 
the work of his own creation. Moreover, he loved unusual 
and indirect ways, and he clung to him the more eagerly 
because he saw the necessary resources of the State and the 
ordinary operations of finances failing him. Law was an 
independent side, and this side pleased the regent; but 
Noailles, who wanted to govern him and so reach the post of 
prime minister (of which he never lost sight or hope), found 


iu Law a serious obstacle on his own ground — he, who en- 
croached as much as he could on the ground of others. 

The Abb^ Dubois, always seeking to recover himself in 
the mind of the Due d'OrMans, needed outside support, and 
Intimacy be- had no sooucr obtained it by his negotiations 
and Law" hs^ with England and Holland than the persons 
^^^^^- he had used became suspected by him as soon 

as his influence no longer needed theirs. His aim also was 
the post of prime minister ; and he did not want opponents 
or competitors. The one he feared most was the Due de 
Noailles ; and he resolved to get rid of him early, without 
showing anything personally against him. He therefore allied 
himself with Law ; their interests in forming this union were 
the same. Wliat passed in this respect was in a darkness 
that all Xoailles' art could not penetrate. 

Law did not conceal from me this budding intimacy, or 
the use he expected to make of it ; but he did not tell me 
what it cost him to make it solid. By this time he was 
beginning to get money to expend from that dawning specu- 
lation, so well known since and so fatal through the abuse 
that was made of it, which went by the name of " The Missis- 
sippi." It was sweet to the Abbe Dubois to discover a secret 
resource for which he was under no obligation to any one 
but a man whose interest it was, in self-defence, to buy his 
protection. Such was the chain which bound the friendship 
between these two men, and carried them iu the end so high, 
or so far, from each other. The rest of the year 1717 went 
by in perpetual squabbles between Law and the finances, 
— that is to say, the Due de Noailles, — and in appeals 
which Law was forced to make to the chief councils and to 

The year 1718 opened, on the first day, with the pubhca- 
tion of the edict in favour of the Company of the West. 


Its capital was fixed at one hundred millions, and it was de- 
clared unattachable, except in case of bankruptcy or decease 

of shareholders. This name was substituted for 

Edict in favour of ^^^^^ °^ " '^^^^ Mississippi " (which did not cease 
the " Company of ^o bc uscd), that enterprise which enriched 
and ruined so many persons, and in which 
the princes and princesses of the blood, especially Mme. la 
Duchesse, M. le Due, and the Prince de Conti, found the 
mines of Potosi; the continuance of the scheme in their 
hands being the mamstay of this Company, so fatal to 
France, whose commerce it destroyed. The protection they 
gave to it all their Hves, and gave pubhcly, through and 
against all, equal to the immense profits they derived with- 
out sharing any loss, maintained the Company under all 
risks and perils ; and after them came powerful magnates 
of finance, who have kept the management and the fatness 
to the present day. 

The regent, being more and more goaded and provoked by 
the perpetual shackles laid on Law's operations by the Duo 
Defeat of Noaiiies ^^ NoaiUcs and by the dots on the i's added 
and the chan- jjy j^jg frien^l the chancellor, who increased the 


oppression on Law by the weight of his office 
and his own personality, the reputation of which was at 
that time great, — the regent, I say, irritated by the two oppo- 
nents who stood in the way, but determined in spite of all 
obstacles to uphold the views and ways of the Scotchman, 
determined to make a last effort to unite them with Law, 
and also to find out for himself what there was of good and 
true on both sides. In order to do this without interruption, 
and quietly at leisure, he passed a whole afternoon with them 
at La Paquette, a pretty little house which the Due de 
Noaiiies had hired, and where he gave them a supper after- 
wards. This was on the Gtli of January. 


The chancellor and Law went early to La Eaquette. The 
session was long and earnest on both sides, but it proved to 
be the extreme unction of the two friends. The regent de- 
clared that he found bad faith in the Due de Noailles, and 
blind obstinacy in the chancellor, the slave of forms, against 
the all-powerful arguments and evident resources of Law. 
As I have said before, the Scotchman, without a fluent enun- 
ciation, had such clearness in argument and was so seductive 
in ideas, with a great deal of natural shrewdness under a 
surface of simplicity, that he often put his hearers off their 
guard. He asserted that the obstacles wliich stopped Mm 
at every step made him lose all the fruits of his system, and 
he knew so well how to convince the regent that finally, as 
we shall presently see, the latter forced all, and abandoned 
himself wholly to Law. 

The disorders in France, inevitable from the system of 
raising the taille tax, disturbed the regent all the more be- 
Project about the causc the fermentation was beginning to be 
"taiiie"tax. palpable in parliament and in certain of the 
provinces. They had tried to establish a proportional taille 
in the generaliU of Paris. ^ Several persons had been work- 
ing at it for more than a year without other success than the 
expenditure of eight hundred thousand francs. They be- 
thought themselves next of the royal tithe of Mardchal 
Vauban, which they employed the Abbd Bignon and little 
Eenault to improve; the latter offering to go at his own 
expense and make attempts in its favour at several elec- 
tions, as he did in the end. But all these efforts did harm 
by the expense they caused, without producing any success. 
Either the plans were vicious in themselves, or they became 
so by the manner of carrying them out, possibly by the 

1 Tlie taille was a poll-tax levied on all persons who were neither nobles 
nor ecclesiastics. — Littke. 


obstacles put in their way by the interest and jealousy of 
that cruel financial phalanx that was always supported by 
the magistracy of finance. However this may be, it is certain 
that the good intentions of the regent, who in the present 
case was seeking only the relief of the people, were com- 
pletely frustrated, and it became necessary to return to the 
usual method of levying the taille. 

Though I had never been willing to meddle in the finances, 
I was not without personal experience of what I have just 
said about financiers and the magistracy of finance. I had 
been struck with what President Maisons had once explained 
and shown to me about the gahelle [salt-tax] ; the enormity 
of eighty thousand men being employed to collect it, and the 
horrors that were practised in doing so, to the injury of the 
people. I was also struck with the difference in provinces 
equally subject to the king, in some of which the gahelle 
is rigorously enforced, whereas in others the salt is free ; yet 
the king does not derive less from the latter, who enjoy a 
liberty in this respect that makes one regard the others as 
being in abject servitude to those scoundrels of gahcletcrs 
[salt-tax collectors] who live and enrich themselves on 
rapbie. I conceived, therefore, the idea of doing away with 
the gahelle and making salt free and merchantable ; and for 
this purpose letting the king buy up, at a third more than 
their value, the few salt marshes that belonged to private 
individuals, — the king to own them all, and sell the salt to 
his subjects at the rate put upon it ; not obliging any one 
to buy more than he wanted. In point of fact there were 
only the marshes of Brouage to buy. The king would 
profit by release from the costs of this odious tax ; the 
people would profit by their liberty and freedom from 
endless pillage which they endured under that monstrous 
horde of employes, who would die with hunger if they 


depended only on tlieir wages ; the State would also profit 
considerably in the matter of cattle, as any one can see 
at a glance by comparing the different appearance of those 
that get salt in the provinces where there is no gahcllc 
with those where the dearness and restrictions upon salt 
prevent the animals from getting any. 

I proposed this to the regent, who entered into it with 
joy. The affair was brought forward and about to pass, 
when Fagon and other financial magistrates, who did not 
venture to oppose it in the beginning, were found to have 
taken their measures so well that the plan was defeated. 
Some time later I endeavoured to return to it, and had every 
reason to believe the thing certain and that it would be 
accomplished within a week. Again the same persons got 
wind of it and were able to make it miscarry. Besides the 
advantages that I have just explained, it would have been 
a most essential benefit to have forced that army of gahehurs, 
living on the blood of the people, to become soldiers, arti- 
sans, or labourers. 

This occasion drags from me a truth that I recognized 
during the time that I was in the Council, and which I 
All good impos- would uot havc believed if sad experience had 
sibie in France. ^^^ taught it to mc ; and that is, that to do 
good is impossible. So few persons want it in good faith ; 
so many others have interests contrary to each kind of good 
that is proposed. Those who desire it are ignorant of that 
which hedges it round, and without that knowledge they 
cannot succeed, they cannot ward off the adroitness and the 
influence opposed to them ; and this adroitness, being sup- 
ported by the power of persons of superior authority and art 
of management, becomes so complicated and underground 
that the good which might be done is necessarily defeated. 
This grievous truth, which will always be true in a govern- 


ment such as ours has been since the days of Cardinal- 
Mazarin, becomes eminently consoling to those who feel and 
who think, but no longer take part in anything. 

The more harassed the regent was, the more he turned to 
me in regard to the men and matters about which he was 

Manoeuvres ^°^ ^P°^ ^^^^ guard. Hc had spokcn to me 

against Law by morc than oucc of tlic Due de Noailles and the 

the Due de 

rioaiiies and the chanccUor bcforc the session at La Eaquette, 
c ance or. ^^ ^j^^ jealousy of the former against Law, of 

the ineptitude of the latter in State affairs, in finance, in the 
usages of the world. He did not hide from me his disgust 
at both of them and at their intimate union, which made the 
chancellor, in all and for all, the volimtary slave of the Due 
de Noailles. The language of the latter pleased him ; his 
easy grace of manner and his habits, always in the fashion 
of the day, whatever it was, put him at his ease with 
him. NoaiQes' intellect and his well-estabhshed junto made 
the regent afraid of him. On the other hand, he could not 
part with Law and his system, because of his natural love 
of indirect ways, and the attraction of those mines of gold 
which Law made him foresee all opened and worked by 
his operations. Hopeless of making Noailles and Law agree 
together, after all that he had done to bring it about, his 
uneasiness became extreme when he saw himself at last 
compelled to choose between the two. He often spoke of 
this to me ; and I heard also from Law of all that went on. 

Whatever Law's system may have been, he himself had 
the best faith in the world in it. His personal interests 
Law's faith in his Dcvcr mastered him ; he was true and simple ; 
system. j^g -^^^ integrity ; he wished to walk openly 

and frankly. He was therefore doubly irritated by the 
obstacles raised against him at every step by the Due de 
Noailles, and by the duplicity of the latter's conduct towards 


him. He was not less irritated by the chancellor's slowness, 
which, concerted with NoaiUes, checked and made abortive 
aU Law's operations. He was often forced to go and per- 
suade the principal men in parliament and its president and 
that of the Cour des Comptes, whom Noailles stirred up 
against him ; and, after he had fully convinced them, Noailles' 
tricks and the chancellor's delays still continued and made 
useless operations which had seemed determined upon and 
without any difficulty. Law told me all his troubles and 
vexations ; often he was very near to throwing up the whole 
thing ; and would go and complain to the regent, whom he 
kept informed of all these manoeuvres. Then the regent 
would speak of them to me with great bitterness ; but he 
never got more out of me than pity for such annoyances, and 
assurances that my ignorance of finance prevented me from 
giving him any advice. 

Before the departure of the Abb^ Dubois for London, 
being urged by Law and his own interests, he had worked 
upon the regent's mind against Noailles and the chancellor. 
His interest in doing so was double. He was beginning to 
draw hugely from Law ; how much he drew was shrouded 
in darkness; he thought already of the Cardinal's hat and 
the need he should have for money in Eome. He had also 
another purpose, that of governing the regent all alone. To 
do this, it was necessary to part him, little by little, from 
those who, in one way or another, had his confidence. A 
man like the Due de Noailles was formidable to Dubois, 
and he seized this occasion to get rid of him, convinced that 
after the notoriety of being sacrificed to Law Noailles would 
not recover confidence or be once more a man to fear. 

I knew from Law that Dubois' blows had struck home, 
and for this reason he was grieved at his absence. Law 
would fam have had me fill his place ; but I knew the re- 


gent's suspicious feelings too well; lie regarded me, and 

with reason, as the declared enemy of the Due de Xoailles ; 

my remarks against him would therefore have 

My conduct in miscarricd. Besides, I found myself unable 

this matter. _ _ 

to decide in my own mind which was the 
better side to take on the finances ; and I was not willmg, 
whatever hatred I felt to Noailles, to take upon myself to 
throw the State and the regent into the arms of Law and 
his novel system. I therefore let things go their way, — 
careful, however, to be well-informed, and to hold myself 
neutral in regard to the regent ; not to chill him from speak- 
ing to me in confidence, but, above all, not to put myself 
forward or commit myself in any way. This conduct on my 
part lasted until the meeting at La Eaquette, after which I 
saw that the regent had decided on his course, which was 
only retarded by the feebleness which always checked him 
at the moment of execution. 

After a while the Due d'OrMans expressed himself openly 
to me, and discussed the question as to whom he should 

intrust with the finances and the Seals. His 
chosen for the objcct was to givc the fiuanccs to some one 
finances and the ^^ whom Law shouM find uo furthcr obstacle 


to his operations. Law and I had often talked 
this matter over. He had frequently had recourse to 
d'Argenson, who entered into all his ideas, and it was 
d'Argenson whom he wanted in the finances, because he 
counted on being fully at liberty under him. 

DArgenson was a man of much mind, and a supple 
mind, which, for his fortune's sake, accommodated itself to 
everything. His birth was better than that of most men of 
his calhng. He had long managed the police, and with it 
a species of inquisition, with transcendent judgment. He 
was wholly without fear of parliament, which he often 


attacked ; he was very obliging to people of qualitj^, — hiding 
from the king and Pontchartrain the adventures of their 
children and relations, which were really only youthful 
peccadilloes, but would have ruined them irretrievably had 
he not drawn a curtain before them. With a terrifying 
face, which recalled that of the three judges of hell, he 
made merry at all things with excellent wdt, and had 
brought such order into that innumerable multitude of 
Paris that there was no inhabitant whose daily conduct and 
habits he did not know, with rare discernment as to when 
to bear down, and when to lighten his hand in each affair 
that came before him, — leaning always tow^ards lenity, but 
with the art of making even innocent persons tremble be- 
fore him ; courageous, bold, audacious in riots, and in that 
way, master of the populace. His morals were very much 
the same as those that were constantly brought before him ; 
and I don't know whether he recognized any other divinity 
than that of fortune. In the midst of painful functions, aU 
apparently rigorous, human nature found mercy before him 
readily ; and when he was at liberty with his friends of low 
estate (in whom he trusted more than he did in persons of 
higher rank), he abandoned himself to gayety and was 
charming as a companion. He had some knowledge of 
letters, but little or no acquirement in other studies ; his 
natural intelligence supplied the want, also his great knowl- 
edge of the world, a very rare thing in a man of his station. 

I begged the regent to let me inform and prepare 
d'Argenson ; not that I doubted his acceptance of such dis- 
I prepare d'Ar- tiuctiou, but I Wanted to profit by the mo- 
genson ; why. mcnt to couciHate the future Keeper of the 
Seals for the Cardinal de Noailles, so that the prelate should 
lose as little as possible in losing d'Aguesseau. The regent 
approved; and I sent a note to d'Argenson Thursday 


morning to come to me that evening between seven and 
eight for urgent and important business. D'Argenson came 
at the appointed time. I did not keep him in suspense. 
Before me I then beheld a man terrified at the burden 
of the finances, but much flattered by the sauce of the 
Seals, and sufficiently himself, even m this moment of 
great surprise, to make many difficulties as to the finances, 
though careful at the same time not to risk the loss of 
the Seals. I explained to him at full length the wishes 
of the regent in relation to Law, and not less clearly 
with regard to parhament and all that the regent desired 
to find in him in that respect. Law and the finances, 
I told him, were conditions sine qua non, which he must 
accept. As for parhament he thought as I did, and as the 
regent did; in that respect, therefore, he was the man for 
the place. His ideas, the movement of the cabal, his personal 
interests, all led him to accept it. It can be imagined what 
he said to me on the honour of receiving the Seals, which 
he felt, and with reason, that he owed to me, and about 
which I was modest, though at the same time allowing him 
to feel the part I had taken in the matter. 

On the 28th of January La Vrilhfere [secretary to the 

Council of Eegency], who had been summoned to the Palais- 

Eoyal late the night before, went at eight 

The chancellor i i • i 

loses the Seals o'clock lu tlic moming to demand the rendi- 
and is exiled. ^-^^^ ^^ ^j^^ g^^^jg ^^ ^j^^ chauccllor, and to tell 

him from the regent to retire, until further orders, to his 
country-house at Fresnes, on the road from Paris to Meaux. 
The chancellor asked firmly but modestly if he could see the 
recent ; being refused, whether he could write to him. La 
Vrillifere said he would take the letter. The chancellor 
wrote it, read it to La Vrillifere, sealed it and gave it to him. 
He then wrote a note to the Due de Noailles, and went to 


inform his wife, who was just confined, of his fall, and the 
next day he went to Fresnes. 

Noailles, warned of the bomb by the chancellor's note, did 
not doubt what would happen to him as to the finances. 
He determined to be beforehand with the regent and to put 
himself in a position to get some good out of it. He went to 
the regent at once, and had the duphcity to ask him why the 
Seals were lying on his table. The regent had the kmdness 
to tell him why. Noailles, with the easiest manner he could 
manage to assume, asked to whom he meant to give them. 
The resrent told liim that. Whereunon Noailles remarked 
that he saw the cabal had got the upper hand and he could 
not do better than yield to it and resign his commission on the 
finances. The regent instantly said, " Do you ask for nothing 
in place of it ? " " Nothiug," rephed Noailles. "I give you," 
added the regent, " a place in the Council of Regency." " I 
shall make little use of it," replied Noailles arrogantly, pre- 
suming on the regent's weakness. He lied shamefully, for he 
came to the next Council and never missed one afterwards. 

Thus the chancellor was the victim of the Due de Noailles, 
and the scapegoat that expiated the sins of liis friend. 
Noailles had used him as a shield, making him see and do 
whatever suited him, without concealment. He abused the 
friendship, gratitude, and confidence of a man of worth and 
honour, who, in his total ignorance of finances and of the 
world, and in the dimness of his new and unaccustomed life, 
had trusted him as his only sure guide. He was exiled 
and lost the Seals solely because he was Noailles' slave. 

I will not omit relating a mere trifle, because it helps to 

show more plainly the character of the Due d' Orleans. One 

Trifles between ^^J ^heu thc Duchessc d'Orl^aus had gone to 

theDucd'Orieans Moutmartrc, and I was walking alone with the 

regent in the little garden of the Palais-Eoyal 


talking over affairs, he suddenly interrupted himself and 
turning to me said : " I am going to tell you something 
which will give you pleasure." Whereupon he told me how 
tired he was of the life he led ; that neither his age nor his 
desires required it any longer, — with other remarks of the 
same nature. He said he had resolved to give up his 
suppers, and spend his evenings soberly and decently either 
in his own apartments or with the Duchesse d'Orl^ans ; that 
his health would gain by it, and also he should get more 
time for business ; but he added that he could not make the 
change until after the departure of M. and Mme. de Lorraine, 
for he should die of ennui if he supped every evening at the 
Duchesse d'Orldans' with them and a troop of women. But 
as soon as they were gone, I might rely upon it, there would 
be no more suppers of roues and wantons (those were his 
words) ; that he meant to lead a reasonable and decent life, 
and one more suitable to his present age. 

I own I felt enchanted, because of the deep interest that I 
took in him. I showed my feelings to him with heartfelt 
warmth, thanking him for this confidence. I said he knew 
well how long it was since I had spoken to him of the in- 
decency of his life and the time he wasted, because I saw 
that I was wasting mine, and had given up all hope of 
changing him ; he could therefore well believe the surprise 
and joy he gave me. He assured me his resolution was 
taken ; and thereupon I took leave of him, as the hour for 
his supper had come. 

The next day I heard, from persons to whom the roues 
related it, that the Due d' Orleans was no sooner at table than 
he began to laugh and to tell them how he had played a 
fine trick upon me, into which I had tumbled headlong. He 
related our conversation, and the laughter and applause were 
great. That was the only time he amused himself at my 


expense — I should rather say at his own ; and I certainly 
had the folly to gobble it down in a sudden joy that deprived 
me of reflection, and did me honour and him none. I would 
not give him the pleasure of telling him I knew of his joke, 
nor did I ever remind him of what he had said to me ; and 
he himself dared not speak of it. 

I never could discover what fancy took him to tell me 
that tale, — me, who for years had never opened my hps to 
him on the hfe he led, nor he to me. Sometimes, when 
alone with his confidential valets, never before others, a com- 
plaint would escape him, though rarely, that I ill-used him, 
and treated him roughly ; but only in two words, and nothing 
bitter or as if he were angry with me. Besides, lie told the 
truth ; occasionally, when I was pushed to extremes by his 
unreasonableness or his vital blunders in important matters 
relating to himself or to the State, especially when he had 
agreed and firmly resolved from sound reasoning to do or 
not to do a thing, and his fatal pliancy turned him in my 
very hand and made him do the contrary, I own I was 
cruelly exercised by him. But the trick he liked to play 
me when we were tete-a-tete, never before others, and one of 
which my vivacity was always the dupe, was to suddenly 
interrupt some important chain of reasoning by a buffoonery. 
I could not bear it ; and I was sometimes so angry that I 
attempted to go away. I would tell him that if he wanted 
to joke I would joke as much as he Hked, but to mix 
buffoonery with serious matters was intolerable. Then he 
would laugh with all his heart, and all the more because, 
the thing not being rare, I ought to have been upon my 
guard, and never was, and therefore I was vexed both at the 
thing itself and at being fooled by it. After this, he would 
resume the subject of which we were treating. Princes 
miist have some ways of relaxing themselves, and jesting 


occasionally with those they regard as friends is one of 

Chance showed me one day what he really thought of me. 
I shall tell it here and then be done with these trifles. The 
Due d'Orldans, returning one afternoon from the Council of 
Eegency to the Tuileries, with the Due de Chartres and the 
Bailli de Conflans alone in the carriage with him, began to 
talk of me, and made such a eulogy upon me that I dare 
not repeat it. I don't know what had happened at the 
Council to give rise to this. I shall only say that he dwelt 
upon his happiness in having a friend so faithful, so constant 
at all times, so useful as I was and had been to him, so sure, 
true, disinterested, firm ; such as he had never foimd the hke 
of ; on whom he could count on all occasions ; one who had 
rendered him the greatest services, and who told him the 
truth, straightforward and frank in all things and without 
self-mterest. This praise lasted till they reached the Palais- 
Eoyal, the regent teUing his son that he wanted to teach 
him to know me, and to remember the happiness and support 
— honheur et appui, those were his words — that he had 
always found in my friendship and my advice. The Bailli 
de Conflans, surprised himself at this outpouring, told me of 
it the next day under secrecy, and I own I could never forget 
it. It is also true that, no matter what was done against me, 
or I myself did in vexation and disgust at what went on, he 
always came back to me (nearly always being the first to 
make the advance) with shame, friendship, confidence; and 
he never found himself in any trouble that he did not seek 
me, open his lieart to me, and consult me in all things — 
without, however, always believing what I told him, being 
led away by others. 

Fagon, after losing his office of chief-physician, (the only 
one that is lost on the death of a king) retired to the Fau- 

VOL. IV. — 10 


bourg Saint- Victoire in Paris, where he had a fine apartment 

in the Jardin dii Roi, a garden where simples were grown 

and rare and medicinal plants, the management 

Death of Fagon, . . 

the late king's of wliich was left to Mm. He lived there, 
p ysician. always very solitary, in constant enjoyment 

of science and beUes-lettres and the things of his calling, 
which he greatly loved. I have said so much about him 
heretofore that there is nothing left to add, except that he 
died in much piety, at a great age for so deformed and caco- 
chymical a machinery as his, which his knowledge and his 
incredible sobriety had preserved so long, always working 
and studying. It was surprising that after the close intimacy 
and perfect confidence always existing between himself and 
Mme. de Maintenon, who had made him the king's physician 
and maintained him in favour, they never saw each other 
again after the death of the king. 

A very stupid thing made a monstrous noise about this 
time. The Abb^ de Saint-Pierre was a man of intelhgence. 
The Abbe de letters, and chimeras. He had long been a 
Saint-Pierre pub- member of the Academic Fran^aise and was 

lishes a book. 

always rather full of himself ; a good man and 
an honest man withal, great maker of books, projects, and 
reformations in politics and government in favour of the public 
good. He thought himself at liberty by the change of govern- 
ment to give wings to his imagination, — always in behalf of 
the public good. He therefore "s\Tote a book which he 
entitled " La Polysinodie," in which he painted to the life 
the despotic and often tyrannical power that the secreta- 
ries of State and the controller-general had exercised under 
the late reign; he called them vizirs, and their depart- 
ments vizirates, and expatiated thereon with more truth than 

As soon as the book appeared it caused a general uprising 


of all the former government and those who were hoping to 
get back to it after the regency. The former courtiers of the 
late king vied with one another in a grateful loyalty that cost 
them nothing. The Mar^chal de Villeroy signalized himself 
by a fearful uproar, and stirred up, willing or not willing, the 
whole of the former Court. Outside of these persons nobody 
was scandalized by a work which might lack prudence, but was 
certainly not wanting in respect to the king ; and which ex- 
posed only truths which all then living had witnessed and the 
evidence of which no one could deny. The academies and 
men of letters, and the rest of the world were indignant and 
showed it, that these gentlemen of the old Court could not 
bear truth and freedom, so accustomed were they to servitude. 
But Mar^chal de Villeroy made such declamation and clamour 
and hubbub that, dragged on by his violence, people were 
afraid not to shout in echo ; so that finally the regent, who 
had long dishked all the Saint-Pierres, and whom Villeroy 
had rather awed from his youth up, did not resist the tumult. 
The Abb^ de Saint-Pierre was dismissed from the Academy 
against the will of the Academy, which, however, did not 
venture to resist to the end. The book was suppressed, but 
the Academy, profiting by the taste of the regent for mezzo- 
termine, obtained that there should be no election, and that 
the seat of the Abb^ de Saint-Pierre should not be filled; 
which was adhered to in spite of the cries of his persecutors 
until his death. 

The Petit-Pont took fire April 1 7. An imprudent fellow, 
looking for something with a candle in a hay-boat, started it. 
Burning of a Afraid Icst the fire should be communicated 

bridge in Pans. ^q other boats in the midst of which he was, 
he shoved out hastily into the current and was carried against 
a pillar of the arches of the Petit-Pont. The flames rose 
and caught the houses of the bridge, making a great confla- 


gration. The Due de Tresmes, governor of Paris, the magis- 
trates of police, and many persons flocked there. Cardinal 
de Noailles passed the night in having the patients of the 
Hotel-Dieu carried to his house, and in succouring them 
when there, like a true pastor and father ; his house was full 
and his rooms not spared. There was a moment when it 
was supposed the whole Hotel-Dieu would burn down. But 
only a part was destroyed, with some thirty other houses 
either burned or pulled down. The Capuchins distinguished 
themselves very usefully, and so did the Franciscans. The 
Due de Guiche sent for a regiment of guards, which did great 
service, and the Due de Chaulnes with his hght-horse cavalry 
guarded the furniture and other property in the street. 
People laughed a good deal at Mar^chal de Villars, who 
brought up cannon to batter down houses ; as they were all 
of wood and huddled together, the remedy would have 
been worse than the disease. The master of firemen gained 
no honour on this occasion. 

The Queen of England died at Saint-Germain May 7, after 
an illness of ten or twelve days. Her life since she came to 
Death of the Prancc at the close of 1688, had been one long 

Queen of England, geries of misfortunes, heroicallv borne to the 
end as an oblation to God, in detachment, penitence, prayer, 
and continual good works, with all the virtues that perfect 
a saint. With much natural sensitiveness, much intelligence, 
and innate haurfhtiness, which she had learned to brinof under 
and humiliate, with the grandest air in the world, the most 
majestic, the most imposing, she was, withal, gentle and 
modest. Her death was as saintly as her life. She saved 
enough from the six hundred thousand francs a year which 
the king allowed her, to support poor English people, of 
whom Saint-Germain was full. Her body was taken to the 
Filles de Sainte-Marie at Chaillot, where she frequently 


retreated in her lifetime. The Court took no part in her 
obsequies. The Due de Noailles went to Saint-Germain 
merely to see that all was conducted decently. 

The regent granted the Duchess of Portsmouth eight 
thousand francs' increase of the pension of twelve thousand 
francs she already enjoyed. She was very old, quite con- 
verted, and penitent, much involved in her affairs, and re- 
duced to live m the country. ' It was just, and a proper 
example, to remember the important and continual services 
she had rendered with such good grace to France in the 
days when she lived in England, the all-powerful mistress 
of Charles II. 

Parliament assembled on the 11th and 12th of August, 
and vomited all its venom in the celebrated decree, of 
Audacious action ^hlch the following was the main clause: 
of parliament. " ^his court ordaius that ordinances and edicts 
bearing creation of offices of finance and letters-patent con- 
cerning the Bank registered in this court, shall be executed. 
That being so, that the Bank shaU be reduced to the limits 
and to the operations established by the letters of May 2d 
and 20th, 1716 ; and, in consequence, it is forbidden to keep 
or retain, directly or indirectly, any of the royal funds in the 
coffers of the Bank, or to make any usage or employment 
of them for the account of the Bank or the profit of those 
who keep it, under the pains and penalties named in the 
ordinances : it also ordains that the said royal funds shall 
be remitted and conveyed directly to all the responsible 
officials, to be by them employed in the business of their 
offices, and that all such officers and others handling funds 
shall be sureties and responsible, m their proper and private 
names, each for himself, for all the said royal funds which 
shall be remitted and conveyed to them through the medium 
of the Bank : it is likewise forbidden to all foreigners, even 


naturalized, to meddle directly or indirectly, or to participate 
under assumed names, in the handling or the administration 
of the royal funds, imder the pains and penalties enjoined by 
the ordinances and declarations registered in this court." 

It can weU be imagined what a noise this decree produced. 
It was nothing less than seizing by sole authority of parha- 
ment the whole administration of the finances, putting them 
under the axe of that assembly, rendering accountable to its 
will all those employed by the regent and the regent himself, 
interdicting Law personally, and putting him at the mercy 
of parliament, which would certainly have been more than 
unfavourable to him. After this trial of strength, there was 
but one step for the parliament to make, to become in fact, 
as it assumed to be in this crazy pretension, guardian of the 
king and master of the kingdom, with the regent still more 
under its tutelage than, and perhaps as much exposed as, 
King Charles I. of England. 

Parliament assembled again on the 20th of August and 
ordered the law officers of the king to ascertain " what had 
Extraordinary bccomc of the uotcs of State wMch had passed 
toThTk^g"s^i'Jw" through the chamber of justice ; those which 
officers. \j.^([ been given for lotteries held once a month ; 

those that were given for the Mississippi or Company of the 
West; those which had been to the mint for change into 
specie." The king's lawj^ers went at once to the regent to 
tell him of the duty laid upon them. He answered coldly 
that it was for them to execute their commission. They 
asked him to give them some instructions about it. The 
regent, for all answer, turned liis back upon them and 
went to his own room, wliich bewildered them a good 
deal. I must now relate how the regent put back the curb 
on these horses that had taken the bit in their teeth and 
were preparing so boldly to excite great tumults. 


Immediately after this commission was given by parlia- 
ment to the king's law officers the rumour began to get 
about of an approaching lit de justice. It was not that the 
regent had as yet thought of it ; the idea was founded solely 
on the monstrous attacks of parliament against the royal 
authority, on the necessity that some persons saw of using 
the only means of repressing them, and on the fears of others. 
But the grand support of the audacity of parliament had 
been the just and general belief in the regent's weakness 
founded on his whole conduct, and this gave factious persons 
confidence that a lit de justice was an action to which the 
regent would never dare commit himself, at the point, to 
which he had now allowed cabals and interferences to 
attain. The reading of the Memoirs of Cardinal de Ketz, 
Joly, and Mme. de Motteville had turned all heads. Those 
books were so the rage that there was neither man nor 
woman of any condition who did not have them continually 
in their hands. Ambition, the desire for novelty, the adroit- 
ness of those who gave them this vogue, made many of their 
readers hope for the pleasure and honour of figuring and 
reaching the summit, hke the personages of the former 
minority. Some persons fancied they had found another 
Cardinal Mazarin in Law, a foreigner like himself, and 
another Fronde in the party of the Due and Duchesse du 
Maine. The feebleness of the Due d'Orli^ans was compared 
to that of the queen-mother, with the disadvantage to boot 
between the position of a mother and that of being nephew 
to the king's grandfather. 

To teU the truth, all was tending to some extreme, and it 
was high time that the regent should wake up from a 
The regent is supineucss which made him despised, and em- 
drawn from his boldened his enemies and those of the State 


to dare all, and undertake all. This lethargy 


of his held down his true servitors in a state of depression 
at the utter impossibility of doing any good. It had led 
him at last to the verge of a precipice, and the kingdom he 
governed to the eve of a great confusion. 

The return of the Abb(^ Dubois from England, his fortunes 
threatened by the diminution of his master's power, the 
alarm that Law had good reason to feel lest parhament 
should take him by the collar and that others would then 
abandon him, the fear of the Keeper of the Seals (so hated by 
parliament whilst ruling the pohce) lest he should lose his 
present office, made, all together, a combmation, into which 
Law managed to bring M. le Due, so largely interested in 
his system, under the inducement of seizing this occasion to 
overthrow the Due du Maine, his bastard uncle, gratify his 
hatred to him, and step into his place beside the king. This 
conjunction of separate interests, all tending to one purpose, 
formed an influence which acted on the regent, made him 
see, all of a sudden, his danger and his only remedy, and 
convinced him, moreover, that he had not a single moment 
to lose. Dubois and Law roused him acrainst those whom, 
hitherto, he had only too well liked and whose dangerous 
advice he had followed ; and this was done so rapidly that 
no one had any suspicion of it. I must now explain the 

Under these circumstances, of which I was ignorant, work- 
ing one afternoon as usual with the Due d'Orl^ans I was 
The regent surpriscd by his suddenly interrupting what 

forces me to -^e wcrc doiug by speaking bitterly of the 

about the par- actious of parliament. I answered with my 
usual coldness and indifference on that matter, 
and continued what we were about. He stopped me, and 
said he saw plainly I did not choose to answer him about the 
parliament. I owned that was true, and that he must have 


observed it for some time. Pressed further, and then very 
urgently, I answered coldly that he surely remembered all 
I had said and advised before and after his regency as to 
parliament ; that I was not willing to open the matter 
again, though I saw advancing with great strides the fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy I had made to him ; for, master as he 
had long been to repress and control parhament by a single 
frown, his sluggish compliance had let that body do so much 
and undertake so much that it had brought him by degrees 
to his present strait and to the borders of an abyss. A 
speech so strong and rare on this subject from my lips, and 
dragged from me by him, made him feel how little I thought 
him capable of good and of sustaining it to the end, and also 
how little trouble I would take to induce him to do so. He 
was inwardly nettled, and as this came to clinch the impres- 
sion Dubois, Law, and d'Argenson had made upon him (of 
which I was wholly ignorant) it had a wonderful effect. 

The decree of parliament which I have transcribed had 
not been published ; it transpired and was followed by that 
Measures of commissiou to the king's law officers, which 

ca^pVurTInVhang ^^^ ^^^ strokc that prccipitatcd things and 
^^^- brought the regent to a determination. It 

became known that parliament, in defiance of the procureur- 
general, had appointed commissioners of its own to obtain 
information ; that it was judicially acting very secretly ; had 
taken the testimony of many witnesses ; and was surrep- 
titiously putting matters in a condition to send bailiffs some 
morning with a warrant to arrest Law and hang him within 
three hours in the prison-yard. On this intelligence, which 
followed closely on the publication of the above-named 
decree, the Due de La Force and Fagon, counsellor of State, 
went to see the regent, and urged him so much that he 
ordered them to go to my house in the course of the day 


with Law, and consult as to what should be done. They 
came, and this was my first intimation that the Due d'Orl^ans 
was beginning to really feel his danger and would consent 
to take some step. At this conference I saw the hitherto 
"reat firmness of Law shaken even to tears. Our discussions 
did not satisfy us at first, because it was a question of force, 
and we could not count on that of the regent. The safe- 
conduct with which Law was furnished would not have 
arrested parliament for a moment ; to break its decrees was 
hopeless ; to talk of appeals was a weakness that parhament 
would only despise, and regard as an encouragement to go 
on. Difficulty, therefore, on all sides. Law, more dead than 
alive, knew not what to say, still less what to do. His safety 
seemed to us the most pressing thing to secure. Had he 
been arrested his affair would have been over before any 
action could have taken place, even if the regent could have 
resolved to enter the prison with a regiment of guards, — 
a critical means in such a case, always a sorry one even if 
successful, and shocking if, instead of Law, they had found 
a hempen cord and a corpse. I therefore advised Law to go 
at once to the room of his friend Nancr^ at the Palais-Eoyal, 
Nancr^ being then in Spain. He could have been in safety 
by lodging at the Bank, but I thought a refuge in the Palais- 
Eoyal would make more noise and bind the regent more, 
and would also be a means by which Law could talk with 
him at all hours and urge him up to the mark. The Due de 
La Force and Fagon approved and Law went to the Palais- 
Royal on leaving my house. 

This settled, I proposed a lit de justice, which was 

eagerly seized upon by the other three as the only means 

which remained to break the decrees of parlia- 

I propose a " lit 

de justice " at the meut. But whilc the discussion was going on 
a thought occurred to me ; I told the others 


that the Due dii Maine, the real motive power of all the 
enterprises of parliament, and the Mar^chal de Villeroy, as 
much alhed with it as he, though he concealed it more care- 
fully, would never allow, if they could help it, a lit de 
justice so contrary to their views, their proceedings, their 
projects ; that in order to defeat it they would allege the 
heat (which was great), the fear of a crowd, of fatigue, of bad 
air ; they would take a pathetic tone about the king's health, 
well calculated to embarrass the regent ; and if he persisted, 
they would protest against what might happen to the king 
and possibly refuse to accompany him, and the kmg, frightened 
by them, might refuse to go without them ; in which case 
the whole thing would fall through and the impotence of 
the regent be made manifest. These reflections stopped us 
short. But a remedy occurred to my mind which I instantly 
proposed, namely, to hold the lit de justice in the Tuileries, 
a precedent for which existed in the time of the late king. 
By this expedient there was no necessity to give out notices 
tni the morning of the day, and in this way all concerned 
would be taken off their guard ; no pretext could arise 
about the king, and at the same time full liberty was 
given to every one. On this we settled. Law departed; 
and I dictated a memorandum to Fagon of all that I 
thought necessary in order to carry out this project se- 
cretly, insure its execution, and prevent all obstacles. It 
was nine o'clock at night when we finished it. 

The next day, Saturday, August 20, towards the end of the 
morning, the Due d'Orl^ans sent me word to be with him 
The regent sends ^^ ^^^^^ o'clock the samc aftcmoon. I reached 
^°^ ^^- the Palais-Eoyal at that hour, and a moment 

after La Vrilli^re came in and solaced me for the company 
of Grancey and Broglio, two of the roues, whom I found sit- 
ting familiarly m the grand cabinet, without their wigs. I 


was soon told to enter the new gallery, painted by Coypel, 
where I found a quantity of maps and plans of the Pyrenees, 
which Asfeld was showing the regent and Mar^chal de 
Villeroy. The Due d'Orleans received me heartily and as 
if he had need of me. A moment later he said in a low 
voice that he had much to say to me before we " assembled," 
but he must first get the marechal away. This was the first 
I had heard of any assembly, and I did not know of whom 
it might be composed. At last the marechal, after his usual 
chatter, went away ; the Due d'Orleans drew a long breath 
and led me into the cabinet behind the great salon on the 
rue de Eichelieu. 

On entering, he took me by the arm and said that he was 
at the crisis of his regency, and every thmg was at stake for 
He proposes to him ou this occasion. I rephed that I saw 
and thi'Du'r^"' that only too well ; but that all depended upon 
du Maine. liimsclf at this Critical moment. He then said 

that he was resolved to strike a great blow at the parliament ; 
that he approved of the lit de justice at the Tuileries for 
the reasons that had made me propose it ; that he was sure 
of M. le Due by means of his new pension of one hundred 
and fifty thousand francs as head of the Council of Eegency ; 
that he had, that morning, obtained the pledged support of 
the Prince de Conti ; and that M. le Due wanted the educa- 
tion of the king taken from the Due du Maine, a thing that 
was equally to his, the regent's, interest, because the king 
was increasing in years and knowledge, and it was impor- 
tant to take him out of the hands of his enemy. He added 
that he was inclined to hold the lit de justice, if he could, 
on the following Tuesday, and to take the education from 
the Due du Maine. 

I inten-upted him there, saying that that was not at all 
my advice. " Eh ! and why is it not your advice ? " he 


demanded. " Because," I replied, " it is undertaking too 

much at a time. What is now yovir most urgent matter 

which admits of no delay ? The parliament, of 

I oppose his at- 
tacking the Due course. That is the grand point; be satisfied 

du Maine; why. ^^.^^^ ^j^^^_ g^^..^^ ^^^ ^^,^^^ ^^^^ ^-^^^^ . ^^^ 

how to maintain it afterwards ; and you will regain in a 
moment all your authority ; after which you will have time 
enough to think of the Due du Maine. Don't confound him 
with the parliament ; don't identify him with it ; if you do 
you will join their interests by a mutual disaster. See first 
what the public will think, and do, about the blow that you 
level against parliament. You did not strike down M. du 
Maine when you could have done it, and should have done 
it, when the public and the parliament expected it and 
desired it ; you have let them be manipulated by the Due 
du Maine, and now you want to degrade him at the wrong 
moment. Besides, will M. le Due be content with tak- 
ing the education from M. du Maine ? Does he not want 
it for himself ? " " He docs not care about it," replied the 
regent. " That is well," I replied, " but try to make him 
hear reason about your wisest course now. Remember, 
monsieur," I added, " that when I oppose the overthrow of 
M. du Maine I go against my dearest interests ; from the 
education to the rank is only a step ; you know the ardour 
of my desires on that point, and you know, moreover, that I 
hate M. du Maine, who has done us such wrongs ; but the 
good of the State and yours is dearer to me than my rank 
or my vengeance, and I conjure you to reflect upon this." 

The regent was surprised, perhaps as much at my control 
over myself as at my reasons. He embraced me, yielded 
instantly, and said I spoke to liini as a friend, and not as 
a duke and peer. I took occasion to make him a few light 
reproaches for his suspicions on that head. We agreed. 


therefore, that the Due du Maine should be left for another 
and less complicated time. The regent then returned to 
the question of parliament, and spoke of dismissing its 
president, Mesmes. I opposed this also, and told him the 
man was too bound up with the Due du Maine to strike at 
the one and leave the other. That in this, too, I spoke as 
a friend, because my keenest pleasure would be to ruin that 
scoundrel, the author and instrument of all the hoiTors that 
had happened to the peers. After a full discussion of all 
points we came to that of. the actual machinery in detail 
of a lit de justice. I explained to him what I supposed 
it ought to be, and I undertook at his request to manage it, 
with Fontanieu, master of crown properties, without the 
knowledge of any one. 

All this being arranged, the regent entered the salon into 
which the cabinet opened, from the door of which he called 
. in the Keeper of the Seals, La Vrillifere, and 
conference.^ ^ tlic Abb^ Dubois, wlio wcrc Waiting in the 
salon beyond it, in which there was no one 
else. This was where the regent worked in summer. He 
took his usual seat, I next him, the Keeper of the Seals and 
La Vrilli^re opposite. After a short conversation on the 
subject, the Keeper of the Seals read the draft of an edict 
of the Council of Eegency and of letters-patent breaking the 
decrees of the parliament; these documents were those 
that were afterwards printed. Just as the reading ended, 
M. le Due was announced. The Due d'0rl(5ans put on his 
wig and went to meet him in the next room, but soon 
returned with M. le Due behind him. As I knew the 
meaning of their friendliness I asked the regent, laughing, 
why he had brought in M. le Due to disturb our meeting. 
" You see him now," he replied, taking M. le Due by the 
arm, " and you will see him here again." The other three 


men, who stood at some distance, seemed much surprised at 
this entrance; they approached us, however, and we sat 
down, M. le Due between the regent and me. His Eoyal 
Highness then requested the Keeper of the Seals to read 
the docviments over again, which he did without any in- 
terruption. M. le Due approved them strongly, speaking 
to me in a low voice now and then. When the reading 
was over the regent rose and took M. le Due to the end of 
the salon, where he called me up to him a few moments 
later, and said that the most pressing thing of all now was 
the lit de justice and the arrangements for it, and he begged 
me to see Fontanieu at once about them. 

As I was getting into my carriage one of Law's lacqueys, 
who was on the watch, begged me earnestly to enter his 
master's room, which was near by. I found him alone with 
his wife. I told him that aU went well ; and that M. le 
Due had been and was still with the regent; for I knew 
that Law was the instrument of their union. I added that 
I was m a hurry, and he would hear more from his Royal 
Highness as soon as possible. He seemed to breathe again ; 
and I went off at once to Fontanieu in the Place Vendome. 


When Fontanieu and I were aloue in his cabinet, I talked 
on other matters to give the valets who had opened the doors 
I settle with ^^^® ^° retire, and then, to his great astonish- 

Fontanieu the ment, I Went outside to see if they were gone, 

secret arrange- 

ments of the " lit and closed the doors myself. I then told Fon- 
e justice. tanieu that the matter was a very secret one, 

which the regent had charged me to communicate to him 
myself ; but before explaining it, I must know if his Eoyal 
Highness could count absolutely upon him. Fontanieu trem- 
bled through his whole body, and turned whiter than his 
linen ; he stammered a few words, and said his Eoyal High- 
ness could count on him so far as his conscience permitted. 
I smiled and looked at him fixedly, and that smile seemed to 
show him that he owed me excuses not to feel secure when 
the matter came through my hands, for he made them at 
once. I then told him that the matter in question was a 
lit de justice, for the detailed arrangements for which we 
had need of him. I had scarcely explained the matter be- 
fore the poor man drew a loud breath, as if I had lifted a 
stone from his stomach, and asked me many times if that 
was all we wanted of him. He promised everything in his 
joy at being let off so cheaply, and truly kept his word, both 
as to the work and as to the secrecy. He had never seen a 
lit de justice, and had not the slightest notion of one. I 
sat down at his desk and drew out the plan ; I discussed it 
with him a full hour, and when I thought I had sufficiently 
explained it, I returned to the Palais-Eoyal, on pretence of 
having forgotten something, to deceive my servants. 


Ibagnet, the concierge of the Palais-Eoyal, was waiting for 
me at the door of the Due d'Orldans' apartments, with an 
order to beg me to write to him. It was the sacred hour of 
the roues and the supper, against which no business could 
prevail. I sat down in the regent's winter cabinet and wrote 
him an account of what I had done, not without indignation 
that he could not defer his pleasures for an affair of this 

The next morning, Sunday, 21st, on leaving my bed at half- 
past seven, a valet de chamhre of M. le Due was announced 

. _ . to me, with a letter he was to give into my 

M. le Due wntes " '' 

to me to ask an qwu liauds. Tlic man had come much earlier. 


and had gone to hear mass at the Jacobins, 
while waiting until I woke up. M. le Due's letter was as 
follows : — 

" I think, monsieur, that it is absolutely necessary I should 
have a conversation with you on the affair you know of ; I 
think also the sooner the better. Therefore, I should wish, 
if it could be, that it were to-morrow, Sunday, in the morn- 
ing. See at what hour you could come to me or that I 
should go to you ; choose which you think will excite least 
notice, because it is useless to give the pubhc cause to think. 
I shall await your reply to-morrow morning ; and beg you, 
meantime, to count on my friendship, and continue to me 
yours. H. de Boukbon." 

I went at once to the hotel de Cond^, where I found M. le 

Due in the act of dressing himself and quite alone, as his 

valet told me he would be at that hour. He 

Long interview 

between M. le finished drcssiug, and begged me to pass into 

me. j^.^ cabinet, where he shut the door, offered 

me an armchair, took one himself, and we sat down facing 

each other. He began by excuses for taking such a liberty 

VOL. IV. 11 


with me, and, after a few compliments, entered upon his 
subject. He said he thought it best to lose no time in speak- 
ing to me on the matter broached the night before ; and first, 
he should ask in confidence whether I did not think, as he 
did, that it was doing notliing to strike at parliament, if 
at the same time the blow did not fall on its principal motor 
power ; and whether the Due d'Orldans did not think so too. 
Without allowing him to think me stupid, I was not sorry to 
force him to be the first to name the Due du Maine, which 
he did in a few moments, on which I asked him in what 
way he proposed to strike at the Due du Maine. " By taking 
from him the education," he replied. I said that the educa- 
tion could be taken from him independently of a lit de 
justice, and the two things done at different times. He 
replied that the regent was convinced that, this appointment 
having been conferred or confirmed at a lit de justice, it 
could not be taken from the Due du Maine in any other 
way. I contested this a little, but he cut me short by re- 
peating that such was the opinion of the regent, that he had 
told him so, on which it had become a question between 
them of using the natural occasion of the lit de justice 
now about to be held, and it was on that they wished to 
know what I thought. 

I tried to ramble round the field, but was incontinently 
recalled by M. le Due, and forced to enter the lists seriously. 
I confess that the more I had thought the matter over, the 
less wise I thought it would be to attack the Due du Maine. 
I was on my guard against my inclination to do so, and per- 
haps the sternness with which I held myself in increased my 
sense of its injudiciousness. I had a horror of bringing 
dangerous results to the State by a thing, however just in 
itself, in which my private interests were mingled ; and the 
more those interests were dear to me, the more I turned my- 


self forcibly away, that I might do nothing unworthy of an 
honourable man. I therefore stopped all verbiage, urged as 
I was, and answered plainly that the two points he proposed 
to discuss were radically different ; that no impartial mind 
could deny that it was expedient for the State, the king, and 
the regent to take the education from M. du Maine ; but I 
also thought that no one could be found who did not con- 
sider that step extremely dangerous. After which I detailed 
to him at full length the reasons I had already given to the 
Due d'Orldans. 

M. le Due listened to me very attentively, and answered 
that for his part he considered that to attack the Due du 
Maine was the only remedy against civil war. I asked him to 
explain to me that proposition, so much the reverse of mine, 
but to tell me first, frankly, what he should think of civil 
war in the present state of the kingdom. He said it would 
be ruin. Then returning to his idea, he repeated, what I 
had owned, that it would be wise to take the king from the 
hands of the Due du Maine ; that settled, we should see if 
there were any certain hope of doing it at a later time, and 
with less danger; that the longer the Due du Maine was 
left with the king, the more the king would get accustomed 
to him, and that the king himself might prove an obstacle 
that did not yet exist ; also that M. du Maine had gained 
ground during the regency through the mere fact of his 
having the education, which made him regard himself as the 
future master of the State at the king's majority. 

All this was said more diffusely than I report. M. le 

Due then begged me to answer him straightforwardly. I 

could not deny the truths tliat he advanced. 

I oppose the 

deposition of the " But, monsicur," I Said, " will that prevent a 

civil war? It proves the enormity of the 

blunder of having left the bastards in their position at the 


death of the king and after it. Every one expected their 
fall then and desired it ; but at present, when the face of 
things has changed by habit, and still more by the judgment 
rendered between the princes of the blood and the bastards, 
that which it was wise to do on the death of the king will, 
if done now, precipitate us into trouble." [After a long 
statement of the grounds of this opinion] M. le Due, who 
had listened to me with extreme attention, seemed really 
M. le Due de- struck and remained silent for a few moments ; 
Clares that his ^Yieu in a gentle but firm tone, such as I 

attachment to '-' ' 

the regent de- always drcad in public matters, because it in- 

pends on the , . , 

removal of M. dicatcs that a course is determined on, he 
du Maine. ^^^^ . « Mousicur, I cau vcry well conceive all 

the difficulties that you make ; I agree that they are great ; 
but there are two others which appear to me incomparably 
greater on the other side: one is that the Due d'OrMans 
and I are lost at the king's majority, if the education is left 
to M. du Maine till then ; the other is that it will assuredly 
be left to him if on this present occasion it is not taken from 
him. Look at it how you please, that is the fact; as to 
trusting to anything the Due d'Orl^ans may promise me for 
the future, that is a snare into which I shall not fall, and 
to let myself be fooled now only to be lost four years hence 
is what I will never do." [A long argument followed and 
then] M. le Due declared that his only demand was that 
M. du Maine should be removed from the king ; and he 
begged me to see the Due d'Orleans that very morning 
and say that he would consent to either one of three edicts, 
the drafts of which he had carried to the regent, which 
the latter preferred. After which M. le Due declared to me 
plainly that his attachment to the Due d'Orleans depended 
wholly on the removal of the Due du Maine ; without which 
he would not take one step either for or against him. 


I returned home, and went to mass at the Jacobins, a 
church wliich I could enter from my garden. It was not 
without wandering of mind. But God gave me grace to 
pray with a good and honest heart, asking that I might 
conduct myself for His glory and the good of the State with- 
out personal self-seekmg. I may even say that I received 
the grace of interesting right-mmded people m this affair 
without their formmg any idea of what it was, so that I 
obtained rectitude and hght and strength from them against 
my own inclinations ; and, to say it once for all, my prayer 
was granted, and I had nothing to reproach myself with in 
the whole after-course of this affair, in which I followed 
solely my ideas of what was best for the State, without turn- 
ing aside either to the right hand or to the left. 

Fontanieu was awaiting me on my return from mass. I 
had to stand his questions about the details of his machinery 
and behave as if I had nothing else upon my mind. I 
arranged my chamber for a lit de justice and made him see 
and understand various local points of the ceremonial which 
he had not understood, but which it was very important 
not to omit. I had requested him to see the regent that 
morning; but as it was necessary to enHghten the latter 
beforehand, I told Fontanieu to receive his orders in the 

It was half-past eleven when I reached the Palais-Koyal, 
and, as contretcmjjs always happen in all great affairs, I 
I render an ac- fouud thc rcgcut closctcd with Mar^chal 
count to the d'Huxclles and the Cardinals de Eohan and de 

regent of my in- 
terview with M. Bissy, who were each reading him a long 

rigmarole of their writing, or said to be so, 

under the specious title of brmging Cardinal de Noailles 

to their way of thinking. I was on thorns ; and presently 

I took the liberty of drawing the regent to a window, where 


I told him that while he was amusing himself with those 
two cardinals, who were making him lose liis precious time 
about a reconciliation they did not wish to make, I had to 
give him a long account of a very important conversation 
I had had with M. le Due before he could see the latter 
again. On this he returned to the others, told them he was 
tired and that their affair could be better understood if heard 
twice, and in less than a quarter of an hour they departed 
with their portfohos under their arms. I took their place, 
and closing the doors, we walked up and down the long 
gallery, the Due d'OrMans and I, till three o'clock, that is 
to say, more than two good hours. 

Long as my conversation with M. le Due had been, I 
repeated it in full to the Due d'Orldans, adding my reflec- 
tions as I went along. He was surprised at the strength of 
my reasons not to fall upon M. du Maine, and much alarmed 
at the tenacity of M. le Due on that point. He said it was 
true that he had asked him for the three proposals of different 
edicts and that M. le Due had given them to him, saying he 
did not care which was taken, provided it ensured the dis- 
missal of the Due du Maine. I felt then that the regent had 
pledged himself again. He dared not tell me so, but he did 
not escape my reproaches. " Well, monsieur," I cried too 
roughly, "there you are in the mud-hole I have predicted 
to you so many times ! You would not overthrow the bas- 
tards when the princes of the blood, the parliament, the 
entire public cried out for it and the whole world expected it. 
What did I tell you then ? and what have I repeated ever 
since ? That sooner or later you would be forced to it by the 
princes of the blood, at a time when it would not suit you to 
do it, and you might be forced to abet them at all risks. 
How are you going to get out of this ? Beheve me, evil for 
evil, this is the most dangerous." 


The regent groaned ; but he promised he would hold firm 
against M. le Due, and added that he wished I would see the 
The regent prom- latter after their interview and report to him 
Iginst^'remolrg ^he ncxt day what effect it had upon him. He 
M. du Maine. ^^en Said that he doubted whether the lit de 
justice could be held the day after the morrow (Tuesday) 
because the Keeper of the Seals doubted if he could be ready 
with the documents in time. This delay annoyed me ; I 
feared it was the prelude to a longer delay, and then a change. 
I asked him to what day he postponed it, remarking that 
such strokes determined upon and then delayed were sure 
to become known, and with dangerous results. " To Friday," 
he replied. " Wednesday and Thursday are fgte-days, and it 
can't be earlier." " Very good," I said, " provided, in any 
event, it is Friday." He seemed determined. As we parted 
he said : " We must avoid taking away the education at this 
time. It is my interest to do so later, all in good time, but 
this is not the proper time, and you are perfectly right. This 
M. le Due frightens me ; he wants it, and wants it so stoutly." 
" What do you mean by that ? " I said. " Did you not tell me 
yesterday that M. le Due did not want the education himself, 
and would not have it ? " " Yes," replied the regent, " I 
understood him to say so ; but you see he has his say and his 
unsay. He does not care for it, but he makes it a condition, 
and that does not suit me." " Monsieur," I said, in a firm 
tone, " indeed it does not. Make up your mind that he shall 
not have it ; for I declare to you that if he has it you, with 
your nature, will distrust him, he will perceive it, worthy 
people will thrust themselves in for the purpose of parting 
you, and then there will be the devil between you, which 
will operate upon the State, the present, and the future. With 
these reflections I leave you to get my dinner." " There 's 
my gourmand ! " he said ; " fine reflections, but dinner at the 


end." " Yes," I said, laughing, " dinner and not so much 
supper ; but since it pleases you not to dine at all, ruminate 
over this wliile awaiting M. le Due, and be prepared for the 

Let us return for a moment to the origin of this affair ; 
that is to say, to the original cause that set it in motion. I 
have said that this was the private interests of Law, d'Argen- 
son, and the Abbd Dubois. To those interests must be 
added that of the Due de La Force, who, in order that he 
might enter the Council of Eegency, stirred up Law, who 
was napping, and through him M. le Due. So true is it that 
in matters that seem to rise up and speak for themselves 
(and, generally speaking, in all great affairs) we shall find, 
if we search carefully, that their original cause is some light 
thing, some personal interest, very incapable, one would 
think, of causing such effects. 

I saw the Due d'Orleans again in the evening, and asked 
him where he now was with M. le Due. He answered, stop- 
The regent tells P^^g ^hort and tuming towards me, for we 
me that M. le ^erc Walking down the great gallery, that he 

Due insists on t i • ^ j j.i i. t, 

having the educa- had ucvcr SBCU a man so obstmate and that he 
tionoftheking. fj-^^i^tened him. "But the result?" I said. 
" The result," he answered, " is that he wants the education 
of the king, and will not yield the point." I did not conceal 
from him that the accumulated number of his broken prom- 
ises to M. le Due was the cause of the latter's obstinacy at 
the present time. The Due d'Orleans contested this, and 
said he did not tell the truth ; but he let it be seen that there 
was no denying the just complaints of M. le Due in this 

Then, passing to the mechanical arrangements for the 
lit de justice (for this conversation was very skippy), I 
said to him, and I don't know how I came to think of it. 


that the high seats could be raised only one step on account 
of the want of height at the Tuileries ; but I thought that 
would be quite sufficient to mark the difference. Thereupon 
he grew excited ; told me that things could not be done in 
that way, and that the high seats in parliament were always 
raised five steps. In vain I represented the mechanical 
difficulty ; I told liim that if I, whom he thought so set 
upon rank, was satisfied, he ought to be. Not at all. He 
ended by charging me to tell Fontanieu he must find some 
means to remedy this impropriety. This nearly drove me 
distracted ; for, to cut the matter short, as the Due d' Orleans 
had no dignity and cared for none either for himself or 
others, I strongly suspected that, feeling himself worsted 
by M. le Due, and brought up before the wall of a lit de 
justice, he was seeking some way to break out of it. I 
feared that, not venturing to openly give up a project of this 
kind, he had seized on what he could find to make a delay, 
in the hope that the affair would be noised about and thus 
be defeated. This made me very uneasy ; I tried during 
the rest of the conversation to clear up the point, but if the 
regent ever had the thought he hid it from me with the 
utmost caution. 

From that he passed to a very interesting topic. " Did I 

tell you," he said, " of a conversation I had Tuesday last with 

the Comte de Toulouse ? " On my replying 

Conversation be- 
tween the regent that he had not, he told me that, when they 

ioiio'Tsf ""' ^^'^^® ^^0^6 together, the Comte de Toulouse 
had inquired if he might ask him a question, 
and this question was, whether he was satisfied with him 
and his conduct. On the most satisfactory assurances 
being given to him, followed by most suitable replies on 
his part, he said that he had still another inquiry to make, 
about his brother, who was very uneasy at a rumour going 


about that he and the Mardchal de Villeroy were about tc 
be arrested. At this the regent laughed as if there were 
nothing in it ; but, on being pressed, he replied that he had 
never thought of it. The conite asked if he might reassure 
his brother ; on receiving a yes, he asked if the regent was 
content with him, and whence could the rumour have come. 
The regent replied that as to the rumour he was ignorant 
of the cause of it, but as for being content with M. du 
Maine, that he could not be. The comte then desired to 
know more ; on which the Due d'Orleans asked him what 
he thought of intriguing with parliament. The comte re- 
plied frankly that it would seem to him very criminal ; and 
he asked if anything of that kind were laid to the charge 
of his brother. The regent replied that he could not doubt 
it, from very sure proofs, and immediately asked him what 
he should think of dealings in Spain with Cardinal Alberoni. 
" Worse," rephed the comte, plainly, " I should regard that 
as nothing different from a State crime." And on the 
resent teUins him that he knew the Due du Maine to be 
guilty of it, the comte said he could not suspect his brother 
to that extreme ; and he begged the regent to be very sure 
of the truth of it ; as for himself, he considered the State 
and his Eoyal Highness as one and the same thing ; there- 
fore he could answer for himself, though he could not answer 
for his brother. I thought this conversation very important, 
and the reflections we made upon it prolonged our own. 

After this the regent reverted to M. le Due. He talked 
feebly, and I again conjured him to think well of the con- 
sequences of attacking M. du Maine and of giving the 
education to a prince of the obstinate temper of M. le Due. 
After renewing those arguments once more I entreated him 
to feel sure that if he did take the education from M. du 
Maine the latter would not be more furious or irreconcilable 


if reduced to his proper rank in the peerage. The regent 
rephed that he had wished to do that, but that M. le Due 
was opposed to it, from the idea of separating us from the 
princes of the blood by an intermediate rank ; and he was 
very glad to tell me this plainly, that I might not let myself 
be fooled by the talk of M. le Due ; with whom the point 
must be settled if he gave him the education of the king. 
On this I went away, with a beginning of hope, — always 
supposing that the education changed hands. 

I had those high seats on the brain, and being resolved 

to take from the regent a pretext that I dreaded, I sent 

word to Fontanieu to expect me at his house. 

Fontanieu -^ 

remedies the Togctlicr we fouud a Way to give those high 

seats three good steps ; but Fontanieu was 
miserable at the delay, fearing that his workmen might 
understand what he was making them do. Leaving his 
house I said to my servants, " Home ! " but as we passed 
the Pont Tournant I pulled the cord, and got out at the 
garden of the Tuileries as if to enjoy the fine weather, and 
sent my carriage to wait for me at the end of the Pont 

I soon found M. le Due in the alley which runs along 

the base of the terrace over the river. ^ As this was the 

second time we had met in the same place 

M.ieDucinthe I fcared uncxpectcd accidents and remarks. 

garden of the j ^^^^^ j^-^^ ^^|.g ^^ j^jg ^j^^^ ribbou, wMch 


he put in his pocket. He had seen the Due 
d'Orl^ans since I had done so, and I soon perceived that 

1 These conversations and negotiations, preliminary to, and quite essen- 
tial for an understanding of, the famous lit de jnatire, are given at 
great length in the Memoir, witii mucli repetition and detail. Tlicy are 
abridged here from nearly one hundred pages ; but all the important 
points, as to historical facts and as to Saint-Simon's personal conduct, 
are given. — Tr. 


he had found him more pliant. That angered me, for I 
felt the consequences, and knew that I could never get 
the better of so determined a man after he had once seen 
the hope of obtaining what he wanted. 

[After a very long recapitulation of all the arguments] 
" Monsieur," replied M. le Due, hastily, and like a man who 
I make a last '^^^ determined on his course, " pardon me if 
effort to prevent J gpcak to you frccly. Your reasoning leads 

an attack on the . . 

Due du Maine. Only to our letting these Messieurs the bas- 
ucsrepy. ^.-^^,^^ ^^^^ ^^^j. ^i;^j.oats at their own good time 

and pleasure. Now, if the Due d'Orleans is of that humour 
for his part, I am not so peaceable for mine. He is so great 
that he apparently expects to escape them one way or an- 
other, by force, or by gratitude for not having crushed them, 
in which, as I beheve, he will find himself their dupe. I 
have not the same resources nor the same grandeur ; in a 
word, monsieur, all depends on the education being given 
on Friday. If that is done I am one forever with the 
Due d'Orleans ; and we shall see, the princes of the blood 
being united, what the bastards can do. Otherwise my 
resentment will be too strong for me. It wOl never leave 
my heart. I know the difference between the regent and 
myself, but after all it is for him to say whether he wants 
me or whether he does not care if he loses me. He is regent 
and ought to be master enough to do things that are just, 
reasonable, and for his own personal interest. It is for him 
to will them, and to know how to do them; if not, it is 
not worth while to be for him." 

This was cutting through the difficulties, not removing 
them. I was about to answer after a moment's silence, 
when he added with a gentle, subdued, and flattering air, 
" Monsieur, I beg your pardon for speaking so firmly, and 
I feel that I must seem to you very headstrong and very 


obstinate. I shall be very sorry if you should take a bad 
opinion of me, but I ask you to put yourself in my place ; 
to weigh the position in which I find myself, and all the 
broken promises that have brought me to where we now are. 
I count upon your friendship ; could you advise me to let 
myself be ruined ? And do you not see that the end of this 
would be the firm establishment of M. du Maine over the 
king ? That is the thing that makes me so firm ; if you 
will weigh it well, what now seems to you obstinacy you 
will find to be necessity." 

These words embarrassed me greatly, not for their polite- 
ness, which I could have paid off in compliments, but for 
their too solid determination, which was all the more griev- 
ous because it put us between two reefs. His alienation 
might lead to anything in France and in Spain on the one 
hand, on the other were all the troubles that would grow out 
of the course proposed. I collected myself as much as so 
important and keen a conversation would allow ; I saw 
plainly that this decision of M. le Due, coming at the end 
of all the arguments brought against him, left nothing to 
hope for from him. With this conviction I ceased to at- 
tempt the impossible and, content within myself with the 
testimony of my conscience as to the efforts I had made 
to defeat or elude his designs against the Due du Maine, 
I thought myself at liberty to profit for our Order by that 
which I could not prevent for the good of the State. 

I therefore said to M. le Due that after having repre- 
sented to him what I believed to be the danger in itself 
and the difficulties of this great affair, I should 

M. le Due gives . 

me his word on wastc his time m vain if, having nothing 
IhebattardTtf ^^rthcr to bring forward I repeated the same 
their rank in the things; that I saw with pain that although he 


felt the infinite embarrassment of the whole 


thing, his mind was made up ; and that being so, and there 
being no remedy for it, I passionately desired its success. 
But before leaving him, I must entreat him to explain him- 
self clearly with me as to the reduction of the bastards to 
their proper place in the peerage. 

He replied that he consented willingly that they should 
have no other, and that I ought to have known that this 
was in one of the three edicts he had proposed and given 
to the Due d'Orleans. " I understand you," I replied, " but 
it is one thing to allow it to be done, and another to will 
it. I entreat you not to forget that the intermediate rank 
is what has alienated the dukes from you, — I mean all 
those who have blood to the nails ; I am not speaking of 
poor creatures like a Due d'Estr^es, a M. Mazarin, a M. 
d'Aumont, but of all those peers who feel themselves and 
hold themselves up, — dukes who were most at the hotel 
de Cond^ throuirh the ancient chrism of father to son in 
the civil wars. We do not now appear what we are, because 
we are a hundred times worse off than imder past tyranny ; 
but we feel ourselves no less, and we hold no less together, 
as you must have remarked on all occasions. Here is an 
occasion to devote us to you. Do not miss it ; repair the 
past, and reduce the bastards to their proper rank in the 
peerage." M. le Due did not answer for a moment, and 
then he said he wished I had seen the three edicts he 
had ordered drawn up and given to the Due d'Orleans ; 
that it was Millain who drew them up (I knew him well 
as the secretary of the chancellor, Pontchartrain), that he 
was a very capable and very honest man and I could trust 
him. We agreed that Millain should come to me the next 
morning with copies of the three edicts, and this readiness 
on my part seemed to give M. le Due great pleasure. " Mon- 
sieur," he said, " I will do for this matter as I shall for the 


education ; but give me your promise that you will do 
your best for that." " Gently, monsieur," I replied ; " with 
your word you have mine, and, I dare to tell you, that of 
all the dukes, to be with you in all things, the king, the 
State, and the regent excepted, against whom, however, you 
will never desire anything ; but as for M. du Maine, I can 
promise you no more than I have already promised, namely, 
to put the reasons for and against your wishes before the 
Due d'Oii^ans, and if he decides as you wish, to put myself 
in, up to the neck, for your success." 

After this I told him I thought a distinction ought to 
be made between the two brothers, and that we ought for 
I propose to keep the good of the State to yield the rank he 
'r^ ?"^ °l'^^ now held to the Comte de Toulouse. " With 

Comte de Tou- 
louse unchanged, all my heart," cried M. le Due ; " you know 

that I love the Comte de Toulouse, and, since you are 
wilhng, with all my heart I will contribute to leave him 
where he is. But how can it be done ? " " Monsieur," I 
said, " I desire that one and the same decree should reduce 
the bastards to their rank in the peerage, and that another, 
made at the same moment, should restore to the Comte de 
Toulouse, for him alone, the full rank that he enjoys to-day, 
— no continuation of that rank in itself ; the children 
excluded should he marry and have them. He will then 
have two courses to follow, and follow instantly : accept or 
refuse. Refuse ? he will think twice before he sacrifices all 
that he is to a brother he neither likes nor respects, who, 
against his advice, has exposed himself to all this by un- 
bridled ambition, which he lias openly blamed in public and 
in private ; nor will he sacrifice himself in this way to the 
caprices, follies, and furies of a sister-in-law, whom he abhors 
as a crazy woman, a mad woman, who has pushed his brother 
on to enterprises of which this is the issue. He would be 


mad himself to refuse, and he has men about him who 
will neglect nothing to force him to accept." " Monsieur," 
repUed M. le Due, " I am charmed to hear you say so. I 
will tell Millaiu to draw up a declaration for that purpose." 
" And I, monsieur," I continued, " will draw one up myself ; 
so that it may be known that, for the good of the State, the 
peers did this act themselves against themselves." 

All things having been foreseen, remedies provided in case 
of mishaps, secrecy absolutely maintained, and nothing for- 
Aii things fore- gottcu, I took Icave of the Due d'Orleans at 
seen and provided ^^^ o'clock of the uight bcforc [the lit dejus- 

for the " lit de r> i. >i 

justice." tice'\, exhorting him to rest as much as he 

could, to achieve the salvation of his regency by the acts 
of the morrow, and the triumph of those acts by his resolu- 
tion, firmness, presence of mind, attention to little things, 
and above all by his self-possession. On leaving him, I asked 
permission to tell the secret to the Due de Chaulnes, inas- 
much as he must learn the shell of it in the course of the 
night by the order to bring out the hght-horse, of which he 
was the captain ; and he consented. 

On my way home, I stopped at the hotel de Luynes, which 
is close to my house, and sent in to ask the Due de Chaulnes 
I confide the to comc and speak to me in my carriage. He 
IhTouc^dr^ ^° c^i^® without his hat, got in, and immediately 
Chaulnes. ^}^q coachman, who had his orders, drove off 

to my own door, without my saying a word till I reached 
my cabmet to the Due de Chaulnes, who was much surprised 
to be abducted in this way. He was still more so when, 
after closing my doors, I told him of the great spectacle pre- 
pared for the next day. We gave ourselves up, he and I, to 
the rapture of a re-establishment that was so unexpected, so 
sudden, so secret ; the mere hope of which, founded on so 
little, had alone sustained us under the horrid hammer of 


the late king. The dispersion, the melting away of those 
mountains, piled one after another by countless degrees upon 
our dignity by those giants of bastards, those Titans of 
France, their coming fall, the general surprise, but so differ- 
ent, so intense, both for them and for the peers ; our renas- 
cence, our re-existence from past annihilation, — a hundred 
thoughts at a time dilated our hearts in a manner I cannot 
express. M. le Due was not forgotten, nor Millain either, 
in this tete-cc-tete. We parted at last under this great 

About five o'clock the next morning [Friday, August 26], 
drums were heard throughout the city, and presently the 
„ ^. . , soldiers were seen in motion. At six o'clock 

Notice given of 

the " lit de jus- La Grange was at the parliament delivering 

tice " at six in 

the morning of his SUmUlOUS. McSSlCUrS (tO USC their Ian- 
August 25. guage) were just assembling. They sent for 
the president, who called the Chambers together. All this 
took half an hour ; after which they replied that they would 
obey. Then they debated in what way they should go to 
the Tuileries, whether in carriages or on foot. The latter 
was chosen as the ordinary form, and in the hope of exciting 
the people and arriving at the Tuileries attended by a howl- 
ing mob. The rest will be related in its place farther on. 
The French guards and the Suisses were under arms in 
quarters, the cavalry patrol and two companies of mous- 
quetaires each ready in their guard-house, and only the 
ordinary guard of the regiments of the French and Suisse 
guards on duty at the Tuileries. 

If I had slept little for the last week I slept still less on 
this last night, on the eve of events so important. I rose 
before six and soon after received my notification to attend 
a lit de justice. At seven o'clock an usher of the Due 
d'Orl^ans brought me a notice of a meeting of the Council 

VOL. IV. — 12 


of llegency at eight o'clock, with an order to come iii 
mantle. I dressed myself in black, because I had no other 
suit with mantle, except one of magnificent gold cloth, 
which I would not wear, — to give no ground for saying, 
though most untruly, that I intended to insult parhament 
and the Due du Maine. I took with me two gentlemen ; 
and I went to be a witness of all that was about to be 
done. I was full, at one and the same time, of fear, hope, 
joy, reflection, distrust of the regent's weakness, and of all 
that might result. I was also firmly resolved to serve my 
best in every way that might present itself, but without 
appearing to know anything, without eagerness ; and I 
anchored myself on presence of mind, attention, circum- 
spection, modesty, and an air of moderation. 

Leaving my own door, I went to that of Yalincourt, who 

lived opposite to the back door of the hotel de Toulouse. 

He was a man of honour, great intelligence, 

I notify the Comte ' o o > 

de Toulouse of mingling in the best company, secretary -gen- 
eral of the navy, who had been with the Comte 
de Toulouse from his earliest youth. I wished to let no per- 
sonal fears assail the Comte de Toulouse, or expose him to 
be led by his brother. I sent, therefore, to ask Valincourt 
to come and speak to me. He came, half-dresssed, alarmed 
by the noises in the streets, and asked me what it meant. I 
took him by the head, and said : " Listen to me well, and do 
not lose a word. Go at once to M. le Comte de Toulouse, 
and tell him from me to trust my word ; to be wise. Things 
are about to happen which may displease him in regard to 
others, but he may rely on the assurance that not a hair 
of his head will be touched. I wish him not to have one 
moment's uneasiness. Go, and lose no time." Valincourt 
embraced me as well as he could. " Ah ! monsieur," he said, 
" we have long foreseen that the storm would come. It is 


well deserved ; but not by M. le Comte, who will be eternally 
obliged to you." He warned liim instantly, and the Comte 
de Toulouse, who knew later that I had saved liim from a 
fall like that of his brother, never forgot it. 

At eight o'clock I arrived in the grand courtyard of the 

Tuileries, without having remarked anything extraordinary 

on the way. The carriages of the Due de 

I arrive at the "^ ° 

Tuileries. The Noailles and the Mar^chaux de Villars and 
promptly and d'Huxellcs and some others were already there, 
secretly arranged, j ^^gj^^ ^^p ^yithout meeting many pcrsous, and 

I had the doors of entry and the issue through the guard- 
room opened for me. The grand antechamber where the 
king took his meals was prepared for the lit de justice. 
I stopped there a moment to consider carefully if all was 
in proper order, and I congratulated Fontanieu in a whisper. 
He told me that he did not arrive at the Tuileries with his 
workmen and his materials till six o'clock in the morning ; 
that all had been so luckily put up and handled that the 
king had heard nothing of it ; that the head valet de chamhre 
coming out of the king's bedroom about seven o'clock, had 
been amazed ; that the Mar^chal de Villeroy had only heard 
of it through him; there had been so little noise made in 
putting up the materials that no one had discovered any- 
thing. After examining everything carefully with my eye, 
I advanced to the throne, which they were just finishing, 
intending to go into the second antechamber ; but attendants 
came after me and said I could not pass that way for it was 
closed. I asked where we were to gather while awaiting the 
meeting of the Council, and where those persons were whose 
carriages I had seen in the courtyard. Several attendants 
offered to show me the way upstairs, and ushered me through 
a door which was guarded, but was opened to admit me 
when I appeared. There I found the Keeper of the Seals and 


La Vrillifere, with all their array of papers and things. We 
were very glad to be once more alone together for a last con- 
sultation before the operations. But it was not what I had 
proposed to myself. I had seen no carriages but those of 
dangerous persons in the courtyard ; under pretence of being 
ignorant of everything, and without affectation of any kind, 
I wanted to go where they were, to upset their conference 
and learn from their behaviour all that I could. But as I 
had tumbled by chance into the room of the Keeper of the 
Seals I thought it would seem a forced thing to ask to be 
taken elsewhere, so I gave up my first intendon. 

The Keeper of the Seals was standing, holding a crust 

of bread, as much himself as if it were only a matter of the 

Tisual Council, — without perplexity as to all 

Tranquillity of r r j 

the Keeper of that was about to dcvolvc upon him, or em- 
barrassment at having to speak in public on 
matters so unusual, so important, and so susceptible of mis- 
carriage. He seemed to me anxious only as to the firmness 
of the regent ; filled, and justly so, with the thought that this 
was no time to weaken, still less to recede one inch. I re- 
assured him as to that, far more than I could reassure myself. 
I asked them if their measures were taken to be informed 
from moment to moment of what was going on in parhament. 
They answered yes, and they were, in fact, very well served. 
I then washed, not to read, for that was useless, but to see 
all the documents to be enregistered. They showed them 
to me in their order. I wished also to look more closely at 
the one relating to the reduction of the bastards to their 
rank of seniority in the peerage. "Here," said the Keeper 
of the Seals, showing it to me, " Here is your affair." I men- 
tion this because it was told afterwards as a proof that I was 
in the secret ; it was apparently overheard by some listener 
with his ear at the door ; for we were all three alone with 


the door closed. I wished to look over the principal clauses ; 
they assured me nothing had been changed, and I saw that 
later when I hstened to the reading of the document. I 
had the same curiosity about the declaration in favour of 
the Comte de Toulouse with the same answer and the same 
assurance. Then I made them show me the Seals uncovered 
in their velvet bag and the instruments de precaution, signed 
and sealed, and all ready in case of need. There were 
two large velvet bags filled with these things which the 
Keeper of the Seals never left out of his sight and which 
were carried under his eyes and placed at his feet, both 
at the Council and at the lit de justice, because the Seals 
were in them. Not a soul knew of all this but the regent, 
M. le Due, the Keeper of the Seals, La Vrilhere [secretary 
to the Council of Eegency] and myself. The wax heater 
with the sealing implements was in the adjoining room, with 
water and fire lighted, all ready without any one observing it. 
As we were finishing our survey, still planning for what 
might happen, they came to tell us that the regent was 
coming. We finished in a second what we 

The regent ar- 

rives at the Still had to look at and to say, and while he 

■was taking his robe from the lit de justice 
SO as not to have to change it after the Council, I went 
down in order not to appear to have come with him ; and I 
made La Vrillifere wait awhile that we might not enter the 
Council-chamber together. 

Since the great heat had begun, the Council had been 
held in the last room of the suite, because the king, being 
uncomfortable in his very small bedroom, had come to sleep 
in the Council-chamber; but, on this great day, as soon as 
the king was out of bed he was taken to be dressed in his 
little room, and thence into his cabinet. The bed-clothes 
were then taken from his bed and from that of the Mar^chal 


de Villeroy, at the feet of wliicli they placed the table for 
the Council, which was there held. Entering the preceding 
room I found it full of people whom the first rumour of 
these unexpected events had doubtless brought there, among 
them some of the Council. The Due d'Orleans was in a 
knot of persons at the farther end of the room, and, as I 
heard later, had just left the king, with whom he had found 
the Due du Maine in mantle, who had followed him to the 
door when he left the room, though neither of them said a 
word to the other. 

After a slight glance at this crowd I entered the Council- 
chamber, where I found most of those who composed the 
Council scattered about with serious looks and 

Appearance of 

theCouncu- an air of great concentration of mind, which 

increased my own. Almost no one spoke to 
his neighbour ; and each, standing or sitting here and there, 
remained where he was. I joined no one, in order to ex- 
amine all. A moment later the Due d'Orleans entered, with 
a gay, free manner, without any emotion, looking round 
upon the assembly with a smiling air, which seemed to me 
of good augury. A moment later I asked him how he was. 
He answered aloud that he was pretty well, and then he 
added in my ear that, except for being waked to give orders, 
he had slept well and had now come determined not to give 
way. This pleased me infinitely, for it seemed to me, from 
his whole bearincj, that he told the truth, and I exhorted 
him in two words to keep to it. 

Next came M. le Due, who was not long in coming up 
to me to ask if I augured well of the regent and whether 
he held firm. The prince had an air of high-strung gayety 
which made itself felt by those who were in the secret. 
The Prince de Conti, morose, absent-minded, jealous of his 
brother-in-law, seemed preoccupied, but about nothing. The 


Due de Noailles devoured all with liis eyes, which sparkled 
with anger at seeing himself left out on so great a day — 
for he knew absolutely nothing. I had earnestly requested 
this of M. le Due, thinking their intimacy greater than I 
found it to be. He regarded him with distrust, without 
esteem, still less friendship, — independently of what he 
now had to fear from him in connection with the Due 
du Maine. 

The latter appeared in mantle, entering by the little door 
from the king's room. Never did he make so many, nor 
Entrance of the such profouud bows, of which at uo time was 
Due du Maine. j^^ stiugy. He stood alone, leaning on his stick, 
near to the Council table on the side of the beds, observ- 
ing every one. It was there, directly opposite to him, the 
table between us, that I made him the most smiling bow 
I ever made him in my life, and with the most deep-felt de- 
light. He returned it in kind, and continued to watch every 
one, with eyes that were almost staring, and an agitated 
face, talking the while to himself almost continually. 

No one seemed to ask himself what all this might mean ; 
each member of the Council knew of the resolution to break 
the edicts of the parliament, having been present at that 
deliberation. The present Council was the special Council 
then appointed, afterwards postponed, to receive the judg- 
ment of the committee on annulhng the edicts. It seemed 
clear to all that this was now to be done and the decree 
enregistered at once ; not perhaps without some vexation at 
the surprise of a lit de justice, especially among those who 
thought themselves the privileged confidants of the regent. 
M. le Due came to me again to express his regret at seeing 
the Due du Maine in mantle, and to urge me to strengthen 
the regent. The Keeper of the Seals came to me for the 
same purpose. A moment later the regent himself came up, 


much annoyed at the mantle, but not showing any weak- 
ness. I told him that he might have expected it, and to 
show any softening now would be his ruin, for the Rubicon 
was passed. I added what I could that was strong and con- 
cise to sustain him, and not seem too long in conference with 
him. As soon as he left me M. le Due, uneasy and im- 
patient, came to inquire in what disposition of mind I found 
him. I answered, " Good," in a monosyllable, and sent him 
to talk with him. 

I do not know if these movements, on which all present 
began to fix their eyes, alarmed the Due du Maine, but no 
sooner had M. le Due left me than the Due du Maine went 
to speak to the Mar^chal de Villeroy and to d'Effiat, who 
were seated next to each other near the little door to the 
king's room, with their backs to the wall. They did not 
rise for the Due du Maine, who stood opposite and very 
close to them, while they all three conferred in a low tone 
for some time, hke men who were deliberating with em- 
barrassment and surprise ; so it seemed to me from the faces 
of the two who were seated, which I tried not to lose from 
sight. During this time the Due d'Orl^ans and M. le Due 
were talking together at the window near the entrance, where 
the Keeper of the Seals, who was rather near to them, joined 
them. M. le Due at one moment turned slightly, which 
enabled me to make him a sign to look at the other con- 
ference, which he saw instantly. I was alone, near the 
table, very observant of everything, and the others, scattered 
about, were beginning to be so. Soon after, the Due du 
Maiae came back to the place he had quitted, the other 
two remaining where they were. M. du Maine was there- 
fore again opposite to me, the table between us. I observ^ed 
his distracted air, and that he talked to himself even more 
than before. 


The Comte de Toulouse arrived in mantle and bowed to 
the company with a grave and concentrated manner ; he 
was neither approached by nor approaching 
the Comte de any ouc. The Due d'Orldans was opposite to 
him and turned to me, although at some dis- 
tance, to show me his regret. I lowered my head and looked 
at him fixedly as if to say, " Well, what of it ? " He then 
advanced to the Comte de Toulouse and said aloud, in the 
hearing of those who were nearest, that he was surprised to 
see him in mantle ; that he had not had him notified of the 
lit de justice because he knew that since the last decision 
against them he had not liked to attend the parliament. 
The Comte de Toulouse replied that that was true ; but when 
the good of the State was concerned he put all such con- 
siderations aside. The Due d'Orl^ans turned round instantly 
without replying, and came to me, and said in a low voice, 
pushing me farther away : " That man cuts me to the heart. 
Do you know what he said to me ? " — and he repeated it. 
I praised the act of the one and the feeling of the other ; and 
reminded the regent that the Comte's reinstatement being 
certain, and at the same session, he need not feel troubled 
about him, and I gently set to work to comfort him. He 
interrupted me to say that he had a great desire to tell him 
all. I represented that that would be a very delicate thing 
to do, and before resolving upon it it was better to wait for 
emergencies. I turned, immediately, to bring him among 
the others, so as to shorten this private colloquy, which I 
feared might be remarked. The Comte de Toulouse noticed 
us, and remained where he was ; and others saw us, too, 
standing apart. 

The Due du Maine had returned to the Mar^chal de 
Villeroy and d'Effiat, the two still seated, and he in front of 
them, as before. I saw that the little conclave was greatly 


excited. It lasted some time, during which M. le Due came 

to speak to me and the Keeper of the Seals joined us, both 

. , ^ uneasy at the effect produced by the entrance 

Colloquies of the '' r j 

Due du Maine of the Comtc de Toulouse, and the regent's 
private talk with me. I told them what had 
occurred, and got away from them as fast as possible. What 
hastened me the more was that I perceived that the Due 
de Noailles never took his eyes off me, and followed by sight 
every movement that I made, even changing his place or 
posture to see me better. The Due de La Force tried to 
join me, but I evaded him ; then La A^rillifere, to whom I 
said a word and sent him to tell the Keeper of the Seals 
to fortify the regent. The Due du Maine now quitted his 
two men and made a sign to his brother to come and speak 
to liim at the foot of Mardchal de Villeroy's bed, where 
he posted himself. He spoke briefly, with agitation ; the 
other replied in the same way, apparently not agreeing. 
The Due du Maine spoke again; then the Comte de Tou- 
louse passed between the foot of the two beds and the table 
to the fireplace, where the Due d'Orleans stood with M. le 
Due, and stopped at a little distance, like a man who is 
waiting to speak. The Due d'Orldans, as soon as he per- 
ceived him, left M. le Due and went to the Comte de Tou- 
louse. They turned their noses to the wall, and this lasted 
some time without any one being able to judge, because 
nothing was seen but their backs, and there seemed no 
emotion and scarcely any gesture. 

The Due du Maine still stood where he had spoken to 
his brother. His face looked half-dead ; he glanced fur- 
tively at the colloquy to which he had' sent his brother; 
then he passed his haggard eyes over the company with the 
anxiety of a guilty man and the agitation of a condemned 
one. At that moment the Mar^chal d'Huxelles called me. 


He was opposite the Due du Maine, the table between 
them, but his back was towards it, consequently towards 
the Due du Maine. The mar^chal was in a group with 
the Mar^chaux de Tallard and d'Estr^es and the former 
Bishop of Troyes. The Due de Noailles joined this group 
at the same time that I did. Huxelles asked me what 
all these comings and goings meant, and on my replying 
by asking him the same question, he inquired if there 
would be any difficulty at the lit de justice about these 
princes or the children of the Due du Maine. I repHed 
that with regard to MM. du Maine and de Toulouse there 
could be none, because the judgment given between the 
princes of the blood and themselves left them in the en- 
joyment of their honours ; but that as for the children of 
the Due du Maine, the peers would certainly not allow it. 

We remained for some little time thus grouped, — I oc- 
cupied in looking at M. du Maine, and turning sometimes 
Colloquy of the to look at the coUoquy between the regent 
cTrn'tedT * * ^^^ ^^® Comte de Toulouse, which still went 
Toulouse. on. They separated at last, and I had time 

to observe the two brothers well, because the Comte de 
Toulouse came past us along the foot of the beds, on the 
other side of the table, to his brother who still stood alone, 
leaning on his stick, at the foot of Mardchal de Ville- 
roy's bed. The Comte de Toulouse had a pained, even an 
angry air. The Due du Maine, seeing him come to him 
in that way, changed colour. 

I was standing there, very attentive, watching them meet 
(the Due du Maine not stirring from his place), in order to 
penetrate their conversation with my eyes, when I heard 
myself called. It was the Due d'Orleans, who, after making 
a few steps alone past the fireplace, wanted to speak to me. 
I joined him and found him in trouble of heart. " I have 


just told him all," he said, instantly; "I could not keep it 
back. That is the most honourable man in the world, and 
it wrings my heart." " How, monsieur ? " I asked ; " what 
have you said to him ? " " He came to me from his brother, 
who had spoken to him, to tell me of the embarrassment 
in which he found himself ; he said he felt that something 
was prepared against him ; that he saw that he was not 
standing well with me, and he had requested his brother 
to ask me if I wished him to remain, or if he should not 
do better to retire. I own to you that I thought I did best 
to reply that he would do well to retire, inasmuch as he 
asked me. Thereupon, the Comte de Toulouse wanted to 
enter upon explanations ; but I cut him short, and told him 
that, for himself, he might rest in peace, because he would 
remain what he was without any alteration ; but that pain- 
ful things might occur for M. du Maine, which he would 
do well not to witness. The Comte de Toulouse asked me 
how it was possible for him to remain as he was when his 
brother was attacked ; adding that they were one, because 
they were brothers and from honour. I answered that I 
was very sorry for that; all I could do was to recognize 
merit and virtue and keep them separate ; then, after a few 
friendly remarks which he received coldly, he returned to 
his brother. Do you think I did wrong ? " " No," I said, 
for it was no longer a question to discuss, and still less did 
I want to dishearten a man we were trying to strengthen. 
" I am very glad of it," I added. " It was speaking plainly, 
as a man who has all his measures taken and fears nothing. 
Therefore, monsieur, you must show the more firmness 
after taking that engagement." He seemed verv resolute, 
but at the same time most desirous that the bastards should 
go away, which was (as I thought I saw) the true motive 
for what he had just done. 


The Due du Maine, pale and deathlike, seemed to me about 

to be taken ill ; he moved with difficulty to the lower end 

of the table, which was near him, while the 

The bastards 

retire from the Comte de Toulousc Came round to say a word 
to the regent and then walked the length of 
the cabinet. All these movements were made in the twink- 
ling of an eye. The regent, who stood close to the king's 
armchair, said aloud, "Come, messieurs, let us take our 
places." Every man approached his own, and as I stood 
behind mine I saw the two brothers close to the door of 
entry as if they were going away. I sprang, so to speak, 
between the king's armchah and the regent to prevent the 
Prince de Conti from overhearing me, and I said, with 
emotion, in the regent's ear, " Monsieur, they are going ! " 
" I know it," he said tranquilly. " But," I replied excitedly, 
" do you know what they will do when they are once out- 
side ? " " Nothing at all," he said ; " the Comte de Toulouse 
came to ask my permission for his brother and himself to 
leave. He assured me they would act properly." "But 
suppose they do not ? " I urged. " But they wiU, and if 
not, sure orders are given to watch them." " But suppose 
they commit some folly or leave Paris ? " " They will be 
arrested ; there are sure orders, I assure you." Thereupon, 
feeling more tranquil, I took my seat. I was hardly in it 
before he recalled me and said that, as the brothers had 
gone away, he was changing his mind and now thought 
he had better tell all that concerned them to the Council. 
I replied that as the sole obstacle to this was removed by 
their departure, I thought it would be a great mistake not 
to tell it to the Council. He communicated this intention 
to M. le Due in a low voice across the table and the king's 
armchair, then he called up the Keeper of the Seals, and 
they both approved, after which we all took our places. 


All these movements had increased the trouble and 
curiosity of every one. The eyes of all, occupied with the 
The Council regent, were turned away from the door of 

take their seats, entry, SO that most persons did not see the 
departure of the bastards. As each person noticed that 
they were not in their places he looked round in search 
of them, and waited for them, standing. I put myself in 
the seat of the Comte de Toulouse. The Due de Guiche, 
who sat on the other side of me, left a vacant space be- 
tween us, with his nose in the air, stdl awaiting the 
bastards. He told me to move next to him, and said I 
had mistaken my seat. I made no answer, and watched 
the assembly, for it was truly a spectacle. At the second 
or third summons, I answered that, on the contrary, he 
ought to come to me. " But M. le Comte de Toulouse ? " 
he persisted. " Come here," I said, seeing him lost in aston- 
ishment and looking for the Due du Maine, whose seat the 
Keeper of the Seals had now taken. I pulled him by his 
coat, I being seated, saying to him, " Come here and sit 
down." I pulled him so hard that he sat down next to 
me, comprehending nothing. " But what is all this ? " he 
said to me, as soon as he was seated ; " where are those 
messieurs ? " " I don't know," I said impatiently, " but 
they are not here." Meantime the Due de Noailles, who 
sat next the Due de Guiche, furious at being no one in the 
grand preparation of the day, had apparently comprehended, 
by dint of gazing at me and examining me, that I was in 
the game, and, vanquished by curiosity, he leaned over the 
table in front of the Due de Guiche and said to me : " In 
God's name, monsieur, do me the favour to tell me what 
all this means ! " I was not on any terms with him, as 
I have often shown, but was much accustomed to treat 
him very badly. I therefore looked at him with a cold, 


disdainful air, and after having heard him, and looked at 
him, I turned away my head. That was my only answer. 
The Due de Guiche pressed me to tell him something; 
he even said that I knew all. I denied it steadily. Every 
one present took his seat very slowly, because each was 
so occupied in looking and divining what all this could 
mean, and was long in comprehending that we were ex- 
pected to take our places without the bastards, though no 
one opened his Hps upon the subject. 

But before entering on what passed at the Council, it 
is best to give a sketch of the session of that day and the 
Tableau of the arrangement of the room in which it was 
Council. held, to make what I have already related 

more intelligible, and to throw a better light on what 









His Royal Highness, 

M. le Due, 


The Prince de Conti, 

Keeper of the Seals, 

Due de Saint-Simon, 

Due de La Force, 


Due de Guiche, 

Mareehal de Villeroy, 


Due de Noailles, 

de Villars, 


Due d'Antin, 

de Tallard, 

Mareehal d'Huxelles, 


ifcveque de Troyes, 

" de Besons, 



Marquis de la Vrillie're, 

M. le Pelletier-Sousy, 


Marquis d'Effiat. 

Marquis de Torcy. 





Entrance door. 


I should remark, as to these sessions, that the Mareehal 
d'Huxelles always sat on the right, to read the despatches 
with light from the window, and the Bishop of Troyes 


always sat next him to help him with his reading. On 
this occasion, the Keeper of the Seals had, on the ground 
at his feet, the black velvet bag in which were the Seals, 
with the instruments de precaution, signed and sealed ; the 
other bag was before him on the table, where he had 
arranged all the documents he was to read to the Council, 
in the order in which each was to be read, and those that 
were also to be enregistered ; all these papers and docu- 
ments were also to be read at the lit de justice. The king, 
meantime, was in his cabinet, and did not appear at all in 
the room where the Council was held. 


When all present were seated, and the regent had ob- 
served for a moment the whole assembly, whose eyes were 
Speech of the ^^ed upon him, he said that he had called 
■^^g^"^- together this Council of Kegency to listen 

to the reading of what had been resolved upon at the last 
session. He thought there was no way to enregister the 
edict of the Council which they were about to hear, except 
that of a lit de justice; and as the great heat did not 
permit of risking the health of the king in a crowd at the 
Palace of the parliament, he had thought best to follow 
the example of the late king, who had sometimes made 
his parliament come to the Tuileries. Also, inasmuch as 
it was necessary to hold this lit de justice, he judged it 
advisable to profit by the occasion to cause to be enreg- 
istered the lettres de provision of the Keeper of the Seals, 
and to begin the session by so doing; and he ordered the 
Keeper of the Seals to read them. 

During this reading, which had no other importance 
than that of seizing an occasion to force parliament to 
Tableau of the rccoguize thc Kccpcr of the Seals, whose 
Council. person and commission it hated, I busied 

myself in studying the faces of those present. I saw in 
the Due d'Orl^ans an air of authority and attention, which 
was so new to me that I was struck by it. M. le Duc^ 
gay and brilliant, seemed to have no misgivings. The 
Prince de Conti, dazed, absorbed and self-contained, seemed 
to see nothing and to take no part in anything. The 

VOL. IV. — 13 


Keeper of the Seals, grave and thoughtful, appeared to 
have too many thmgs in his head ; and, indeed, he had 
much to do for a first essay. Nevertheless, he displayed 
himself, with his bag, as a very firm, very decided, and 
very clear-headed man. The Due de La Force, with furtive 
eyes, examined everybody. The Mar^chaux de Villeroy 
and de Villars spoke to each other now and then; both 
had irritated eyes and crestfallen faces. No one com- 
posed himself better than Mar^chal de Tallard, but even he 
could not stifle an inward excitement which frequently 
gleamed externally. Mar^chal d'Estrees looked stupefied, 
and as if he saw a gulf before him. Mar^chal de Besons, 
enveloped more than usual in a monstrous wig, seemed to 
be nursing his wrath with an angry eye. Pelletier, his 
manner easy and simply curious, looked about him at 
everything. Torcy, thrice as stiff as usual, seemed consid- 
ering all things stealthily. D'Effiat, fiery, nettled, incensed, 
ready to fly at any one, frowned at everybody, with hag- 
gard eyes, which he cast precipitately and by dashes on all 
sides. Those on my own side I could not well examine; 
I only saw them at moments, through changes of posture 
of one or another; and if curiosity made me advance my 
head over the table and turn it, to give a glance at them 
obliquely, it was rarely and very briefly. I have already 
spoken of the astonishment of the Due de Guiche, and the 
curiosity and vexation of the Due de Noailles. D'Antin, 
always so free in his bearing, seemed to me awkward, em- 
barrassed, almost terrified. Mar^chal d'Huxelles tried to 
look at his ease, but failed to cover the despair that stung 
him. Old Troyes, quite bewildered, showed nothing but 
surprise, embarrassment, and not knowing properly where 
he was. 

From the moment of this first reading, coupled with the 


departure of the Due du Maine and the Comte de Toulouse, 
every one saw, after what had passed in the Council chamber 
before the sitting began, that something was preparing against 
the bastards. The more or the less of that something and 
its nature held the minds of all present in suspense, and 
this, joined to a lit de justice no sooner announced than 
ready to be carried out, showed a great resolution taken 
against parliament, and also revealed such firmness and 
decision in a prince considered to be incapable of either 
that the ground fell away from the feet of the cabal. Each, 
according to his bias for the bastards or for parliament, 
seemed expectant with terror of what was to happen. Others 
appeared deeply wounded at having no part in the affair and 
being left to the general surprise, as if the regent were escap- 
ing them. No faces were ever so elongated, no perplexity 
more general or more marked. In this first trouble of 
mind I think that few gave ear to the letters which the 
Keeper of the Seals was reading. Wlien that was over, 
the Due d'Orl^ans said that he thought it was not worth 
while to take the votes one by one, either on the contents 
of those documents or their registration ; and he likewise 
thought that all would agree to begin the session of the lit 
de justice in the same way. 

After a short, though marked pause, the regent stated in 
few words the reason that had led the last Council of Ee- 
speechesofthe geucy to dccidc upou annulling the decrees of 
regent and the parliament which had been read before it, and 

Keeper of ^ ' 

the Seals. to do tliis by an edict of the Council itself. 

He said that under the present behaviour of parhament, to 
send that edict to be registered by parliament would only 
compromise anew the king's authority ; for that body would 
make public its formal disobedience by refusing to enregister 
it ; that, as there was no other way than a lit de justice 


to obtain the registration, he had thought it wise to keep the 
summons secret to the last moment, in order to give no 
opening for cabals and no time for evil-intentioned persons 
to prepare for disobedience ; that he thought, together with 
the Keeper of the Seals, that the frequency and the manner 
of the remonstrances of parhament required that that As- 
sembly should be brought back within the Limits of its duty, 
which, for some time past, it had lost sight of ; that the 
Keeper of the Seals would now read to the Council an edict 
which contained the annulment of the decrees, and the rules 
to be observed by parliament in future. Then, looking at 
the Keeper of the Seals, " Monsieur," he said, " you can 
explain this better than I to these gentlemen ; have the 
goodness to do so before reading the edict." 

The Keeper of the Seals then spoke, paraphrasing what 
his Koyal Highness had said more briefly ; he explained 
what was the usage of parliamentary remonstrance ; whence 
it came, its utihty, its inconveniences, its limits, the abuse 
that had been made of it, the distinction of the royal au- 
thority from the authority of parliament emanating from 
the king, the incompetence of the tribunals in matters of 
State and finance, and the necessity of counteracting their 
assumption of power by some sort of code (that was the 
term he used), which should be in future the invariable rule 
for the form and substance of the said remonstrance. All 
that explained, without prohxity and with precision and 
grace, he read the edict as it is printed and in everybody's 
hands, with a few trifling exceptions, but so slight that they 
escape my mind. 

The reading over, the regent, against his custom, showed 

his own opinion by the praises he gave to the document. 

Then, taking an air and tone of regent which 

Opinions given. • i • i i • i 

no one had ever yet seen m mm, and which 


completed the amazement of the company, he added : " For 
to-day, messieurs, I shall depart from the usual method of 
taking the votes, and I think it will be well that I should 
do so throughout this Council." Then, after a shght glance 
down each side of the table, during which you might have 
heard a worm creep, he turned to M. le Due and asked his 
opinion. M. le Due gave it for the edict, adducing a few 
short but strong reasons. The Prince de Conti answered in 
the same direction ; I next, for the opinion of the Keeper of 
the Seals was given on reading the document. I gave the 
same, more generally (though quite as strongly), in order not 
to fall uselessly on parliament, and also not to arrogate to 
myself to support his Eoyal Highness in the manner of the 
princes of the blood. Every one spoke, most of them very 
little ; some, such as the Mardchaux de Villeroy, Villars, 
Estr^es, Besons, M. de Troyes, and d'Effiat showed their sor- 
row at not daring to resist the resolution taken, which it 
was clear they had no hope of modifying. Dejection was 
painted on all their faces ; and he could see who chose that 
the blow to parliament was neither what they desired nor 
what they had expected to happen. Tallard was the only 
one of them in which this did not show ; but the choking 
monosyllable of Marechal d'Huxelles made the last vestige 
of his mask disappear. The Due de Noailles controlled 
himself with such difficulty that he said more than he meant 
to say. The Due d'Orl^ans spoke last, but with very unusual 
force; after which he made another pause, and passed his 
eyes slowly over the whole Council. 

At this moment the Marechal de Villeroy, full of his own 
thoughts, said between his teeth, " But will they come ? " 
The regent gently took up the remark, and said that the 
parliament had assured Des Granges they would do so; 
remarking that he did not doubt they would obey ; adding 


immediately that notice must be given to him when parlia- 
ment had begun their march. The Keeper of the Seals 
replied that this would be done. The regent went on to say- 
that it would be better to give an order at the door, and in- 
stantly there was M. de Troyes upon his feet. Fear seized 
me that he would go and gabble at the door, and I ran to 
it quicker than he. As I returned, d'Antin, v/ho had turned 
to catch me on my way back, begged me in mercy to tell 
him what all this meant. I slipped past, saying that I knew 
nothing about it. " Pooh ! " he said, " tell that to others." 
As I sat down, the Due d'Orl^ans said something, I don't 
know what, and again M. de Troyes was in the air, and 
I too, as before. Passing La Vrilh^re, I whispered to him 
to seize upon all errands to the door, for fear of M. de 
Troyes' chatter, or that of others, because, from the distance 
I was from the door, my going was too marked. This 
proved to be essential, and La Vrilli^re did it well. As I 
returned to my place, d'Antin, again in ambush, implored 
me in God's name ; but I held firm, and said to him, " You 
will see." The Due de Gruiche also pressed me uselessly, 
even to saying that he knew I was in the bottle ; to which 
I turned a deaf ear. 

These little movements over, the Due d'Orl^ans sat up 
erect by half a foot on his seat, and said to the assembly, 
Speech of the in a toue that was still more firm and more 
[eduction of ^ mastcrful than before, that he had another 
the bastards. affair to proposc, more important than the 
one they had just listened to. This prelude revived the 
astonishment on all faces, and made all hearers motionless. 
After a moment's silence, the regent said that when he had 
decided the suit which had lately arisen between the princes 
of the blood and the legitimatized — legitimes (that was the 
term he used, without adding the word " princes ") — he 


had reasons for not going farther ; but he was none the 
less bound to do justice to the peers of France, who had 
demanded more at that time of the king, in a petition of 
their whule body which his Majesty had received and which 
he himself, the regent, had communicated to the legitimes : 
that this justice due to so illustrious a body, composed 
of the grandees of the kingdom, the first seigneurs of the 
State, all persons most highly endowed, most of whom were 
distinguished for services they had rendered to the king, 
could no longer be delayed: that at the time their petition 
was made he thought it best for certain reasons not to take 
action upon it ; he therefore felt it the more urgent not to 
defer an act of justice which ought no longer to be held in 
abeyance, and which the peers desired above everything else : 
that it was with pain that he saw persons — gens (that was 
the word he used) — who were so nearly related to him, 
raised to a rank of which they were the first examples ; a 
rank continually being magnified in defiance of all laws: 
that he could not close his eyes to the fact that the favour 
of certam princes, and this quite recently, had inverted the 
order of the rank of the peerage : that such detriment done to 
that dignity had never lasted longer than the authority which 
had forced the laws, — as in the cases of the Dues de Joyeuse 
and d'Epernon and the MM. de Vendome, who had been 
reduced to their seniority of rank in the peerage on the 
deaths of Henri III. and Henri IV. : that equity, good order, 
the just cause of so many persons of the first dignity and 
consideration in the State did not allow him any further 
denial of justice : that the legitimes had had ample time 
to reply, but they had failed to allege any valid reason 
against the force of the laws and past examples : that the 
question now was simply to do justice on a petition existing 
and pending, of which it could not be alleged that any one 


was uninformed : and in order to pronounce that judgment 
he had caused to be drawn up the declaration that the 
Keeper of the Seals would now read to them, in order that 
it might be enregistered at the lit clc justice which the 
king was about to hold. 

A deep silence followed a speech so little expected, and 
which began to unfold the enigma of the departure of the 
Effect of the bastards. A sombre brown overspread the 
regent's speech. ^^^^^ ^^ many present. Anger sparkled on 

those of the Mar^chaux de Villars, de Besons, d'Eftiat, and 
even d'Estrdes. Tallard became stupid for several moments ; 
the Mardchal de Villeroy lost countenance. I could not 
see d'Huxelles, which I regretted much, nor the Due de 
Noailles except obliquely, now and then. I had my own 
face to compose, for the eyes of all were turned to me suc- 
cessively. Upon it I had laid a veneer of additional gravity 
and modesty. I ruled my eyes to slowness, and only looked 
out horizontally at a level. As soon as the regent opened 
his lips in the matter, M. le Due had cast a triumphant 
glance to me, which nearly upset my composure and warned 
me to double my gravity and not expose my eyes to contact 
with his. Eestrained in this manner, attentively devouring 
the air of all, conscious of all, and of myself too, motionless, 
glued to my seat, rigid in body, filled with all that joy can 
give most keen, most vivid, — agitation that was charming, 
enjoyment immoderately and most persistently longed for, 
— I sweated with the anguish of controlling my transports ; 
but that anguish was a delight which I never felt before, 
nor since, that glorious day. How inferior are the pleasures 
of the senses to those of the mind ! How true it is that the 
measure of our woes is that of the joys that end them ! 

A moment after the regent had finished speaking he told 
the Keeper of the Seals to read the declaration. He read 


it immediately, without preliminary remarks such as he 
had made on the preceding matter. During this reading, 
Reading of the wliicli HO music could equal to my ears, my at- 
deciaration. teution was divided between iudging whether 

Effect upon the JOG 

Council. it was precisely the same as that which Millain 

had drawn up and shown to me (I had the satisfaction to 
find it was) and observing the impression made on those 
present. A very few moments showed me, by the new 
alteration of their faces, what was passing in their souls, 
and a few more warned me, by the despair that seized on 
Marechal de Villeroy and the fury which overtook Villars, 
that some remedy must be instantly appHed, lest the excite- 
ment of which they were no longer masters might drive 
them to some positive act. I had that remedy in my pocket, 
and I drew it forth. It was our petition against the bastards, 
and I laid it before me on the table, open at the last page, 
which contained all our signatures printed in huge capitals. 
They were incontinently seen and, no doubt, recognized by 
the two marshals, as I judged by the sullen depression of 
their eyes, which immediately succeeded and extinguished 
a certain look of menace, especially in Marechal de Villars. 
My two neighbours asked me what that paper was. I told 
them and showed them the signatures. Everybody looked 
at that queer document, but nobody asked about a thing 
so instantly recognized ; the fact of neighbourhood alone 
made the Prince de Conti and the Due de Guiche ask the 
question; though they were two men who, while very dif- 
ferent from each other, never saw what they did see. I 
had hesitated a moment in making this demonstration 
between the fear of showing too plainly that I was in the 
secret, and the risk of the outbreak. I saw the two marshals 
so near to making one, and I feared the success that outbreak 
miij'ht have. Nothing, I knew, could control them so much 


as the sight of their own signatures. But to show that 
document after they had spoken would only have served to 
cover them with shame and would not have stopped the 
harm their outbreak would have excited. I therefore did 
what I thought surest, and I had reason to think it was 

The whole reading was listened to with the deepest at- 
tention, joined to the deepest emotion. Wlien it was over, 
the regent said that he was very sorry for 

Votes taken ; I ° J J 

abstain from tMs ncccssity, wMcli affcctcd his brothers-in- 


law, but that he owed as much justice to the 
peers as to the princes of the blood. Then, turning to the 
Keeper of the Seals he ordered him to give his vote. This 
he did briefly and worthily in good language, but like a 
dog that runs on embers ; and he voted for the registration. 
After that, his Eoyal Highness, looking round on every 
one, said he should continue to take the votes by heads, 
and he called on M. le Due to give his. The latter was 
short, but vigorous and courteous to the peers ; the Prince 
de Conti, of the same opinion, but shorter. Then the Due 
d'Orl^ans asked for mine. I made, against my custom, a 
profound bow, but without rising, and said that, having the 
honour to be the senior peer of the Council, I offered his 
Eoyal Highness my most humble thanks, together with 
those of all the peers of France, for the justice so ardently 
desired, which he had now resolved to grant to us on a 
matter that imported so essentially to our dignity and 
touched us personally so keenly. I begged him to be con- 
vinced of our gratitude, and to rely on all the attachment pos- 
sible to his person for an act of equity long desired and now 
so complete ; adding that in this sincere expression of our 
sentiments he would find our opinion, which, being parties 
to the case, it was not permissible for us to give otherwise. 


Tbttjoitr'j on x/0xt-p<ir^9* lafoiuxre. eu/art-f^LoroMfe . 

rmiMiimlflliMiiiiiiiiihiiliiili mMiiiif/fMmiiliiiiiHiiiiJiiiiiri 

///r^ ^J-/,/r ///^y. /y^/////' 


I ended these few words with a deep bow, without rising, 
and the Due de La Force did as 1 did immediately. I 
then gave all my attention to see whom the regent would 
ask for votes, intending, if he asked a peer, to interrupt, so 
as to take from the bastards the faintest pretext to object 
to forms ; but I did not need to do so. The Due d'Orldans 
had perfectly understood me, and he skipped to Mar(5chal 
d'Estrdes, who, with the rest, voted almost without speak- 
ing, approving that which most of them did not like at 
all. I had tried to manage my tone of voice to make it 
barely sufficient to be heard by all; I even preferred that 
those at a distance should not hear me to the impropriety 
of speaking too loud ; and I composed my whole person 
to as much gravity, modesty, and simple gratitude as was 
possible to me. M. le Due made me a mischievous sign, 
with a smile, that I had spoken well; but I kept my 
gravity and turned to watch the others. It would be im- 
possible to render the expression of their countenances. 
They were men oppressed by a surprise that overwhelmed 
them, unable to speak, agitated, some irritated, a few glad 
like La Force and Guiche, who presently told me so 

The opinions taken almost as soon as asked, the regent 
said : " Messieurs, this is passed ; justice is done ; the rights 
Speech of regent of the pccrs securcd to them. I have now an 
the'^comude^ ^^^ °^ favour to proposc to you ; and I do it 
Toulouse. with the more confidence because I have taken 

pains to consult the parties interested, who have wilhngly 
put their hands to it; so that I am able to present this 
declaration without offending any one. It concerns the 
person of the Comte de Toulouse. No one is ignorant how 
much he has disapproved of all that has been done in their 
favour, and that he has only supported it since the regency, 


out of respect for the will of the late king. All the world 
also knows his virtue, his merit, his industry, his integrity 
his disinterestedness. Nevertheless, I was not able to avoid 
including him in the declaration you have just listened to. 
Justice could make no exception in his favour, and it was 
necessary to secure positively the rights of the peers. Xow 
that those rights can fear no infringement, I think we may 
return by favour that which I took from equity, and make 
a personal exception of the Comte de Toulouse, leaving him 
in all the honours he has enjoyed, to the exclusion of all 
others, and without passing those honours to his children 
should he marry and have them, and without making a 
precedent for any other person whatever. I have the 
pleasure to know that the princes of the blood consent 
to this, and that such of the peers as I have been able to 
consult not only enter into my feelings, but have even 
bested me to do this thincr. I do not doubt that the 
esteem he has won here will make this proposition agree- 
able to you." Then, turning to the Keeper of the Seals, 
" Monsieur," he continued, " will you be kind enough to 
read the declaration ? " which was done instantly. 

The declaration read, the regent praised it in a few words 
and then told the Keeper of the Seals to vote. This he 
Effect ; the vote cli^ briefly in praise of the Comte de Tou- 
taken. lousc. M. Ic Duc, after a few praises of the 

same sort, testified his satisfaction out of esteem and friend- 
ship. The Prince de Conti said but two words. After 
him, I expressed to his Royal Highness my joy at seeing 
him combine justice and the safety of the rights of the 
peerage with the unusual favour he did to the virtue of 
the Comte de Toulouse, who deserved it for his modera- 
tion, his truth, and his attachment to the good of the 
State; I therefore voted with joy for registration of the 


declaration, saying that I did not fear to add the very 
humble thanks of the peers, inasmuch as I had the honour 
to be the senior of those here present. As I closed my 
lips, I looked round upon them, and easily perceived that 
my approval did not please, and, probably, my thanks still 
less. The rest voted, bending their heads to so sharp a 
blow; a few murmured somethmg, I know not what, be- 
tween their teeth, but the blow to their cabal was not less 
felt ; and the more reflection succeeded to the first surprise, 
the more a bitter and angry pain showed itself on their 
faces in a manner so marked that it was easy to see it 
was high time to strike. 

The opinions given, M. le Due, casting a brilliant glance 
on me, was about to speak, when the Keeper of the Seals, 
M. le Due not perceiving this, began at the same moment 

edratfoVof the ^0 Say Something. The regent told him that 
king. M. le Due wished to speak ; and immediately, 

without giving the latter time to do so, he straightened 
himself with majesty m his chair and said: "Messieurs, 
M. le Due has a proposition to make to you ; I think it 
just and reasonable ; and I do not doubt that you will judge 
of it as I do." Then turning to the prince, he said : " Mon- 
sieur, will you be good enough to explain it ? " The stir that 
these few words created in that assembly is inexpressible. 
I seemed to see hunted creatures, pursued on all sides, and 
surprised by some new enemy rising among them in a ref- 
uge which they had reached breathless. " Monsieur," said 
M. le Due, addressing the regent, " inasmuch as you have 
now done justice to the peers, I think I have a right to 
ask it of you for myself. The late king gave the education 
of his Majesty to the Due du Maine. I was then a minor ; 
and, in the opinion of the late king, the Due du Maine was 
a prince of the Ijlood and capable of succeeding to the crown. 


Since then I have attained my majority, and not only is 
M. du Maine not a prince of the blood, but he is now- 
reduced to his rank in the peerage. M. le Mar^chal 
de Villeroy is to-day his senior in rank and precedes him 
everywhere. He cannot, therefore, remain governor of the 
king under the superintendence of the Due du Maine. I 
ask of you this place, which I think ought not to be refused 
to my age, my quality, and my attacliment to the person 
of tlie king and to the State. I hope," he added, turning 
to his left, "that I shall profit by the lessons of M. le 
Marechal de Villeroy, to acquit myself well and deserve Ms 

As he heard the words " superintendence of the education," 
Marechal de Villeroy almost pitched forward ; he rested 
Agitation of the his forehead on his stick, and continued some 
councu. moments in that posture. It seemed as if 

he did not hear the remainder of the speech. Villars, Besons, 
and Eflfiat bent their shoulders, like men who have received 
their last blow. I could see no one on my side but the 
Due de Guiche, who approved in the midst of his prodigious 
amazement. Estr^es was the first to come to ; he shook 
himself, snorted, and looked at the company hke a man 
returning from the other world. 

As soon as M. le Due had ended, the regent passed his 
eyes in review over the whole company, and said that the 
The regent takes demand of M. Ic Duc was just ; he did not 
the vote. think it could be refused : that the wrong 

could not be done to Marechal de Villeroy of leaving him 
under the Duc du Maine, inasmuch as he henceforth pre- 
ceded him : that the superintendence of the king's education 
could not be more worthily fulfilled than by M. le Duc; 
and that he felt persuaded the vote would be unanimous. 
Whereupon he immediately asked the opinion of the Prince 


de Conti, who gave it in two words ; then that of the Keeper 
of the Seals, which was not long ; then mine. I merely said, 
looking at M. le Due, that I voted for it with all my heart. 
All the others, except M. de La Force, who said a word, 
voted without speaking, simply bowing, the marshals scarcely 
at all, and d'Effiat the same, his eyes and those of Villars 
sparkling with fury. 

The votes taken, the regent, turning to M. le Due, said : 
" Monsieur, I believe you wish to read what you intend to 
Marechai de ^^^ ^° ^^® king at the lit de justice." Where- 

viiieroy com- upou M. le Duc read his speech, such as it 

plains ; the . •tap 

regent launches a IS uow printed. A fcw momcuts of deep and 
thunderbolt. gloomy silcucc succecdcd this reading, during 

which Mardchal de Villeroy, pale and agitated, muttered to 
himself. At last, hke a man who decides on a course, he 
turned to the regent, with lowered head and ghastly eyes, 
and said, in a faint voice : " I shall say but two words : 
all the dispositions of the king are overthrown ; I cannot 
see it without pain ; M. du Maine is very unfortunate." 
"Monsieur," replied the regent, in a sharp but loud tone, 
"M. du Maine is my brother-in-law; but I prefer an open 
enemy to a secret one." At that grand saying several of 
those present lowered their heads. Effiat shook his from 
side to side. The Marechai de Villeroy seemed near faint- 
ing ; sighs began before me and around me, here and there, but 
furtively ; all present felt from this stroke that the scabbard 
was flung away, and no one knew where the line would be 
drawn. In order to create a diversion, the Keeper of the 
Seals proposed to read the speech he had prepared as a 
preface to the edict for annulling the decrees of parhameut, 
which he intended to dehver before the lit de justice. As 
he finished, some one entered to tell him that he was wanted 
at the door. 


He went out, and returned immediately, not to liis place, 
but to the regent, whom he drew to a window, the minds 
Parliament of all concentratiiig on them. The regent, 

reful^^to^obey returning to his place, informed the Council 
the summons. ^j^g^^ j^g ^^^^ received word that, the Cliambers 

of parliament being assembled, the president (in spite of 
what he had said to Des Granges) advised them not to come 
to the Tuileries, asking them why they should go to a place 
where they would have no liberty, and proposing that the 
king should be informed that his parliament would listen 
to his will in its usual place of session whenever it pleased 
him to do it the honour of coming or sending there. The 
Council seemed bewildered by this news ; but his Royal 
Highness said with an easy air that he had expected a 
refusal, and had ordered the Keeper of the Seals to propose 
what he thought should be done in case the advice of the 
president should prevail. 

The Keeper of the Seals declared that he could not be- 
Keve that parliament would go to the length of such dis- 
The regent un- obcdicnce ; if it did, it would be formal and 
vote'^lnd^silps coutraij to kw and usage. He enlarged a 
^^^^^- little to show that nothing could be so dan- 

gerous as to place the king's authority in a position to be 
disobeyed ; and gave it as his opinion that in case parliament 
were led into such an error it ought to be immediately sus- 
pended. The regent added that there must be no hesitation 
about that, and took the opinion of M. le Due, who gave it 
strongly, the Prince de Conti the same, I the same, and 
MM. de La Force and de Guiche even more so. The Mar^- 
chal de Yilleroy, in a broken voice, seeking vainly for grand 
words which would not come in time, deplored this extrem- 
ity, and did all he could to avoid giving a precise opinion, 
Forced at last by the regent to explain himself, he dared not 


oppose, but added that it was with regret, and made an 
attempt to set forth the evil results. But the regent inter- 
rupted him again, said he was not disturbed by that, he 
was prepared for all ; the results would be far worse if the 
refusal were allowed. Then he asked immediately for the 
opinion of the Due de Noailles, who answered shortly, in a 
deprecating tone, that it would be very sad, but he thought 
it should be done. Villars wanted to paraphrase, but re- 
strained himself, and said he hoped that parliament would 
obey. Pressed by the regent, he proposed to wait for further 
information before voting ; but pressed still further, he voted 
for suspension, with an air of angry vexation, which was ex- 
tremely marked. No one after that dared to stir, and most 
of them voted with their heads. 

Presently Des Granges returned, and came up to tell the 
regent that parliament was on the march on foot and was 
then just debouching from the Palais. This news refreshed 
the spirits of the Council, especially that of the Due d'Or- 
Mans. Des Granges having retired, with an order to give 
notice the moment that parliament arrived, the regent told 
the Keeper of the Seals to be careful, when he proposed the 
affair of the legitimes at the lit de justice, that not a moment 
of suspense should occur as to the position of the Comte de 
Toulouse, because, as the intention was to reinstate him, 
not even a momentary stigma should rest upon him. This 
marked attention, given in such terms, struck another blow 
at the elder of the two brothers, and I noticed that his 
partisans seemed still further overwhelmed by it. The 
regent then reminded the Keeper of the Seals not to fail 
to make the registrations at the lit de justice during the 
session, and before the eyes of all. The importance of 
this final consummation, in presence of the king, was very 

VOL. IV. — 14 


At last parliament arrived, and, like children, we went to 

the windows. They came in their red robes, two and two, 

through the great gate of the courtyard, which 

Parliament o o o ^ ' 

arrives at the they crosscd to cutcr the Hall of the Ambas- 
ui enes on oo . g^j^Qj-g^ whcre the president, who had come in 

a carriage with the vice-president Ahgre, awaited them. 
They had come by the little courtyard beyond, in order to 
have less distance to walk. As soon as parliament was in 
place, the peers also, and the presidents had taken their furs 
from behind the screens arranged in the room adjoining, 
Des Granges returned to notify the regent that aU was ready. 
There had been a discussion as to whether the king should 
dine while waiting, and I had obtained that he should not do 
so, for fear that entering the lit de justice immediately after eat- 
ing so much earlier than his usual hour, he might be taken 
ill, which would be a great annoyance. As soon as Des 
Granges had announced to the regent that he could start, 
his Eoyal Highness told him to notify the parhament to 
send a deputation to receive the king at the farther end of 
the guard-room of the Suisse body-guard ; and then, turning 
to the Council, he said aloud that we must now go and fetch 
the king. 

At these words I felt a trouble of joy at the great spectacle 
about to take place in my presence, which warned me to re- 
we go to fetch doublc my attention to my own conduct. I 
the king. ^^^ notified Villars to walk with us, and Tal- 

lard to accompany the marshals of France, and to yield 
precedence to his seniors, because, on occasions hke these, 
the " dues v^rifi^s " do not exist. I tried to supply myself 
with the strongest dose I could of composure, gravity, and 
modesty. I followed the Due d'Orl^ans, who entered the 
king's apartment by the little door, and found the king in 
his cabinet. On the way, the Due dAlbret and others made 


me very marked civilities with a great desire to discover 
something. I paid them in politeness, in complaints of the 
crowd and the annoyance of my mantle, and so reached the 
cabinet of the king. 

He wore neither mantle nor neck -bands, but was dressed 
as usual. After the regent had been with him a few mo- 
The march to the msuts, lie asked if it plcascd him to start, and 
"htde justice." immediately the way was cleared. The few 
courtiers who were there, for w^ant of finding a place to poke 
themselves in the audience-chamber, stood aside, and T made 
a sign to Mar^chal de Villars, who slowly started for the 
door, the Due de La Force after him, and I behind them, 
taking care to w^alk immediately in front of the Prince de 
Conti ; M. le Due followed the latter, and the regent after 
him. Behind the regent came the ushers of the king's 
chamber with their maces, then the king, svirrounded by 
four captains of the body-guard, the Due d'Albret, grand 
chamberlain, and Mar^chal de Villeroy, his governor. Be- 
hind came the Keeper of the Seals, then the Mardchaux 
d'Estr^es, d'Huxelles, de Tallard, and de Besons. These were 
followed by the chevaliers of the Order, and such of the gov- 
ernors and heutenant-generals of the provinces as could be 
notified to attend the king ; the latter were to sit below, 
uncovered, and without votes. This was the order of march 
from the terrace to the hall of the Suisse guards, at the 
lower door of which was the deputation sent by parliament 
to receive the king, with four judges and four counsellors 
as usual. 

While the latter were approaching the king, I said to the 
Due de La Force and the Mar^chal de Villars that we should 
I enter ; and con- tlo better to go and take our seats and so avoid 
fide the reduction ^|^^ coufusiou at the kiug's eutrancc. They 

of the bastards to o ^ 

certain peers. f ollowcd me accordingly, one by one, in order of 


precedence, marching in ceremony. There were but we three 
who could walk in this way, because d'Antin did not come, 
the Due de Guiche had vacated his seat, Tallard was not a 
peer, and the four captains of the guard surrounded the king, 
bearing the hdton, at these great ceremonies. 

But before saying more, it is well to give a drawing, show- 
ing the arrangement of the lit de justice, a glance at which 
will assist in making clear what follows. I think it will 
be useless to enter into a more detailed description of the 
session ; this will doubtless suffice to make it understood 
and to illustrate the local scene about to be recounted. I 
shall only observe that I have named the peers by the names 
of their peerages (which is done in taking their votes), and 
not by the names they bear usually and by which they are 
known in society. 

As parliament was in place, and the king about to arrive, 
I entered by the same door. The way was partly open ; 
the officers of the body-guard cleared a passage for me and 
also for the Due de La Force and Mar^chal de Villars, 
who followed me, the one after the other. I stopped a 
moment at the entrance of the parquet, overcome with joy 
at the sight of this great spectacle, and the thought of the 
precious moments now approaching. I had need to do so, 
in order to recover myself sufficiently to see clearly all that 
I wished to observe, and to put on a fresh veneer of gravity 
and modesty. I was well aware that I should be attentively 
exammed by an Assembly which had been carefully trained 
not to like me, and by inquisitive spectators convinced that 
some great secret was about to be revealed in this important 
assemblage called together so hastily. Moreover, no one 
could be ignorant that I knew it, if only in the Council of 
Regency, from which I came. 

I was not mistaken. The moment that I appeared all eyes 







Bishops of Laou & Noyon. 


M» d'Estr^es, Huxelles, Tallard, Basons 


Mesmes, Pres. : Novion. Aligre, Lamoi<7iion, Amelot , 
Portail, Pelletier, Maupeou. 


The Regent 
M. le Duo a 
Pee de Conti 
Dues : 
de SuUy 

St. Simon D 
La Rochefou- 
La Force 

Roannais | y 














**H t 


























O 93 


o o 
O I. 

3 » 

TO ^ 

S sol 







< < 



a VS. 



a> o <D 

P B 




p^ Q 1-^ 


the Holy Spirit. 
3, accompanying 
not voting. 







h- ( 
















Oq P 

















Secty of Stat e Secty of Pt. 
Counsellors of the Parliament 
King's lawyers. idem of Pt. 

Clerk of Pt. 






Entrance to 

Door by which only 
the peers entered and left. 

Spectators of mark. 

Spectators of consideration. 

Crowd of spectators. 

Door by which 
the king entered and left. 

Guard Room. 

A. The king on his throne. 

B. Steps of tlie throne. 

C. Grand chamborlaiu seated on hassock, 

covered and voting. 

D. Raised seats to right and left. 

E. King's short stairway.' 

F. Provost of Paris, •■vith his baton, seated 

on stairs. 

G. Ushers of the king's chamber on their 

H. Keeper of the Seals in his chair with 

arms and no back. 
I. Small desk before him. 
K. Steps to reach high seats. 
Jj. Doorway, from wliich the Bishops of 

Troyes and Fri^jus, and M. de Torcy 

viewed the scene. 

M. Windows, with scaffoldings for spectators. 
N. Mart'^chal de Villeroy, on a stool, covered 

and voting. 
O. Due de Villeroy, captain of tlie guard, 

seated, covered and voting. 
P. Beringhen, first equerry, uncovered, not 

Q. Her.alds at arms. 
R. Grand master of ceremonies seated, but 

not covered and not voting. 
S. Passage from tlie high seats for the 

bishops, bishop-peers, and marshals. 
T. The parquet or open space. 
V. Passage on a level with the high seats. 
T. Folded seat in case of need for lay peers. 


were turned upon me. I advanced slowly towards the table 
of the chief-clerk of the parliament ; there I turned between 
the two benches and crossed the whole width of the hall, 
passing in front of the king's law officers, who bowed to me, 
smiling, and then I mounted the three steps to the raised 
seats, where all the peers whose names I have marked down 
were in their places, but rising as soon as I approached the 
steps ; I bowed to them respectfully from the top of the third 
step. Advancing slowly I took La FeuiUade [Eoannais] by 
the shoulder, although I had no intimacy with him, and I 
told him to listen attentively and take good care to show 
no signs of life ; for he was about to hear a declaration re- 
garding parliament, and after that two others ; adding that 
we were now approaching the happiest and most unlooked- 
for moment, when the bastards would be reduced to their 
rank of precedence in the peerage, the Comte de Toulouse 
alone being reinstated, but not his children if he had them. 
La Feuillade was a moment without understanding me, and 
then so filled with joy he could not speak. He pressed 
against me, and as I left him he said, " But how — the 
Comte de Toulouse ? " " You wiU see," I said, and passed on. 
As I passed the Due d'Aumont I remembered the fine ren- 
dezvous he had made with the Due d'Orl^ans for the next 
day to reconcile him to the parliament ; and I could not re- 
sist looking fixedly at him with a mocking smile. I stopped 
between M. de Metz [Coislin] and the Due de Tresmes 
[Gesvres] to whom I said the same. The first sniffed, the 
second was enchanted, and made me repeat it to his joy 
and surprise. I said as much to the Due de Louvigny 
[Grammont], who was not so much surprised as the others, 
but equally transported with joy. At last I reached my 
place between the Dues de Sully and de La Eochefoucauld. 
I bowed to them, and we aU sat down at once. I gavQ one, 


glance to the scene, and then I drew the heads of my two 
neighbours to mine and told them the same thing. Sully was 
deeply touched ; the other asked me harshly why the Comte 
de Toulouse was excepted. I had several reasons in reserve to 
give him, but I contented myself with answering that I knew 
nothing about that ; and as to the fact itself I tried to make 
him like it. But he had never forgiven the Comte de Toulouse 
for taking his place as Master of the Hunt. His coldness 
was such that I could not refrain from asking him the 
cause, and reminding him of the ardour with which he 
had pressed our petition against the bastards, the conse- 
quences of which, so fax beyond our hopes, he was now 
to see enregistered. He rephed as he could, still gloomy 
and cold ; after which I did not take the trouble to speak 
to him again. 

Seated in my place in an elevated position, no one being 

before me, because the bench for those peers who could find 

no room on ours did not reach farther than 

The spectacle 

ofthe"iitde in front of the Due de La Force, I was able 
justice. ^^ observe all present. This I did to the 

fullest extent and with all the keenness of my eyes. One 
thing alone constrained me ; this was that I dared not fix 
my eyes as long as I wished on certain persons ; I feared 
the fire and the vivid signification of my glances ; and the 
more I encountered those of others turned upon me, the 
more I felt warned to balk their curiosity by my reserve. 
But I did cast a glittering eye at the president of the 
parliament and along the "grand bench," in relation to 
which I was finely seated. I cast it over all the parliament, 
and I saw an amazement, a silence, a consternation for 
which I was not prepared, and which seemed to me of 
good augury. The president insolently depressed, the vice- 
presidents disconcerted, anxiously attentive to what was 


happening, furnished me with a most agreeable sight. Those 
who were simply curious, among whom I class all those 
who had no vote, seemed to be not less surprised than the 
others, but without their trouble of mind, calmly surprised 
in fact. AU were conscious of some great expectation, and 
were seeking to forestall knowledge by divining the faces of 
those who came from the Council. 

But I had little time for this examination. The king 
arrived. The bustle of this entrance lasted until his Majesty 
Entrance of the and all who accompauied him had taken their 
blarin^ofthT placcs, and presented another species of sin- 
regent, gularity. Every one tried to penetrate the 
mind of the regent, the Keeper of the Seals, and the other 
great personages. The departure of the bastards from the 
Council-chamber redoubled attention, and those who did 
not already know of it now perceived their absence. The 
consternation of the marshals, and of their senior, alone in 
his place as governor to the king, was evident. It increased 
the dismay of the president, who, not seeing his master 
the Due du Maine, cast a withering glance on the Due de 
Sully and on me, who occupied the places the two brothers 
would have filled. In an mstant the eyes of the whole as- 
sembly fastened upon us ; and I remarked that the air of 
concentration and expectancy of something extraordinary 
was doubled on all faces. The regent wore an air of quiet 
majesty and determination, which was quite new to him ; 
his eyes were attentive, his bearing grave, but easy. M. le 
Due was discreet, cautious, though environed with an in- 
describable air of brilliancy that shone from his whole 
person, and which one felt to be restramed. The Prince 
de Conti seemed sad, pensive, wandering perhaps in distant 
spaces. I could scarcely see them during the session, un- 
less under pretext of looking at the king, who was serious, 


majestic, and at the same time as pretty as possible, — grave 
but graceful in all his behaviour, attentive in manner and 
not at all bored, maintaining his dignity well, and without 

When all were placed and reseated, the Keeper of the 

Seals remained a few moments motionless, looking around 

him, and the fire of the spirit that issued from 

The bearing 

of the Keeper his eyes sccmcd to enter the breasts of all 
before him. Profound silence eloquently an- 
nounced the fear, attention, trouble, and curiosity of those 
various expectancies. When the Keeper of the Seals had, 
after the manner of great preachers, accustomed himself 
to the sight of this august audience, he uncovered his head, 
rose, advanced to the king, and knelt upon the steps of the 
throne about the middle of the same step on which the 
grand chamberlain was seated on a cushion. There he took 
the orders of the king, rose, descended, seated himself again 
upon his chair, and replaced his hat. I will say, once for 
all, that he performed the same ceremony at the beginning 
of each declaration and also before and after taking the votes 
on each of them. 

After a silence of a few moments he opened this great 
„ ^ scene by a speech. The report of this lit de 

He opens the j i. j. 

great scene with justice made and printed by parliament dis- 

a speech to par- pi • c 

liamentonits pcuscs mc from the ueccssity of reportmg 
'^"^'^^' here the speeches of the Keeper of the Seals, 

the president of parliament, the king's lawyers, and the 
various documents read and enregistered. This first speech, 
the reading of formal papers, the order to open and 
keep open the two double doors, surprised no one ; they 
only served as a preface to the rest and whetted the 
curiosity more and more as the moment approached to 
satisfy it. 


This first act over, the second, that of annulling the 
decree of parliament, was announced by the speech of the 
Consternation; Keeper of the Scals, the force of wliich pen- 
envenomed etratcd the miuds of the parliament. General 

speech of the •*- 

president. constcrnation overspread their faces. Scarcely 

any of the members dared to speak to his neighbour. I 
remarked that the Abb^ Pucelle, who, being a counsellor- 
clerk, was on the benches opposite to me, stood up when 
the Keeper of the Seals was speaking, to hear him better. 
Bitter pain, that was plainly full of spite, darkened the face 
of the president; shame and confusion was also upon it. 
What the jargon of the Palais calls the "grand bench" 
lowered its head all at once as if at a signal ; and these 
proud magistrates, whose arrogant " remonstrances " did not 
yet satisfy their pride and their ambition, struck down by 
a punishment so great and so pubHc, found themselves 
brought back to their true position with ignominy, and with- 
out being pitied by any except their own paltry cabal. 

After the vote was taken, and wliile the Keeper of the 
Seals was announcing it, I saw this " grand bench " rousing 
itself. The president wished to speak ; and he made the 
remonstrance which is printed, full of the most refined 
mahgnity and impudence towards the regent, and insolence 
towards the king. But the scoundrel trembled as he uttered 
it. His broken voice, the constraint of his eyes, the shock 
and trouble visible in his whole person counteracted this 
last drop of venom, the libation of which he could not deny 
to himself and his Assembly. It was then that I tasted, 
with delight that can never be expressed, the spectacle of 
those proud civiUans, who dared to refuse to bow to us, 
prostrate on their knees, rendering at our feet their homage 
to the throne ; while we, seated and covered in our high 
places beside that throne, were, veritably and effectively, 


laterales Begis against this vas electum of the tiers-etat. 
My eyes, fixed, glued on those arrogant bourgeois, ran over 
that whole grand bench on its knees or standing, the ample 
folds of its fur robes undulating at each genuflection, pro- 
longed and redoubled, and not ending until by command 
of the king given by the mouth of the Keeper of the Seals. 
The president's remonstrance over, the Keeper of the Seals 
mounted to the king ; then, without taking any vote, he 
returned to his place, cast his eyes on the president, and said, 
" The kiiig cJwoses to he obeyed, and obeyed upon the spot." 
That great saying fell like a thunderbolt, striking down the 
presidents and coimsellors in a visible manner. They all 
bowed their heads, and most of them were long before they 
raised them. The rest of the spectators, except the mar- 
shals of France, seemed little affected by their disconsolate 

After an interval of a few moments succeeding the pro- 
nunciation upon the parliament, the Keeper of the Seals 
Reduction of the again mouutcd to the king, and returning to 

bastards to their i • i • • i -i j^ j? i -i 

rank in the ^^^ place again remained silent tor a while, 

peerage. Then all present perceived that, the affair of 

the parliament being over, still another was to come. Each 
man, in suspense, endeavoured to foresee it by thought. Some, 
warned by their eyes of the absence of the bastards, judged 
rightly that something was to happen concerning them ; but 
no one guessed what, and much less the extent of it. 

At last the Keeper of the Seals opened his lips, and, with 
his first words, he announced the fall of one brother and the 
preservation of the other. The effect of this on all faces is 
not to be expressed. However occupied I might be in con- 
trolling mine, I did not lose a single thing. Astonishment 
prevailed over all the other passions. Many seemed glad, 
either from equity or from hatred to the Due du Maine or 

220 MEMOIRS or THE DUG DE SAINT-SIMON. [ciiAr. vii, 

affection for the Comte de Toulouse ; others showed con- 
steruation. The president lost all countenance ; his face, so 
consequential and audacious, was seized with a convulsive 
twitching ; the excess of his rage alone kept him from 
swooning. This was much worse to him than the reading 
of the declaration about the parhament. Each word was 
legislative and carried with it a fall. The attention was 
general, holding each person motionless so as not to lose a 
word ; all eyes were on the clerk who was reading. Towards 
the middle of the lecture, the president, apparently grinding 
his remaining teeth, dropped his forehead on his stick, which 
he held by both hands, and, in this singular and very marked 
posture, he listened to the rest of the reading, so crushing to 
him, so resurrecting to us. 

I, meantime, was fainting with joy. I even feared I might 
give way ; my heart, dilated to excess, could find no space to 
expand in. The violence that I did to myself in order to let 
nothmg escape me was great, and yet this torture was deli- 
cious. I compared the years of our servitude, the melan- 
choly days when, dragged into parliament as victims, we had 
many a time swelled the triumph of the bastards ; I recalled 
the divers degrees by which they had mounted to their zenith 
on our heads ; I compared these things, I say, with this day 
of law and justice, with this awful fall which was also the 
lever that once more raised us. I thanked myself that it 
had been through me it was effected. I considered the radi- 
ant splendour of this hour in presence of the kmg and that 
august assembly. I triumphed ; I was avenged ; I swam in 
my vengeance ; I rejoiced in the full accomplishment of the 
most vehement and continued desire of my whole life. I 
was tempted to feel that I would never care for anything 
again. All the while, however, I never ceased to listen to 
that vivifying reading, — every word of which resounded on 


my heart like the bow upon an instrument, — examining at 
the same time the difierent impressions that it made on all 

At the first word which the Keeper of the Seals said of 
this affair the eyes of the two bishop-peers met mine. Never 
did I see surprise to equal theirs, nor a transport of joy so 
marked. I had not been able to prepare them, on account of 
the distance between our seats, and they seemed unable to 
check the emotion that seized them suddenly. I swallowed 
by my eyes one delicious draught of their joy, and then I 
turned away my head, fearing to succumb to this excess of 
mine, not daring to look at them again. 

That reading ended, the other declaration, in favour of the 
Comte de Toulouse, was begun immediately. It seemed to 
complete the despair of the president and the friends of the 
Due du Maine by the contrast between the two brothers. 
The friends of the Comte de Toulouse rejoiced; indifferent 
persons were very glad of his exception, but they thought 
it without grounds, and without legahty. I remarked very 
divers movements, and more ease in speaking to one another 
during this reading ; to which, nevertheless, all present were 

The Keeper of the Seals mounted as before to the king 
and then took the votes, beginning with the princes of the 
, , ,. . blood, after which he came to the Due de Sully 

I decline ma '' 

marked manner and to mc. Happily I had a better memory 

to vote 

than he, or perhaps than he chose to have ; be- 
sides, it was my affair. I held towards him my hat with its 
bunch of plumes in front in a very marked manner, saying in 
a loud tone : " No, monsieur, we cannot be judges ; we are 
parties to this affair, and we can only render thanks to the 
king for the justice he is kind enough to do us." He smiled 
and made me an excuse. I pushed him off before the Due de 


Sully had time to open his mouth ; and looking about me 
I saw with pleasure that every one had noticed this refusal 
to vote. The Keeper of the Seals now turned short round 
upon his steps, and without asking the votes of any of the 
peers, or of the two bishop-peers, he went to the marshals of 
France ; then he descended to the president and judges, and 
so to the lower seats ; after which he remounted to the king, 
returned to his place, pronounced the order for registration, 
and so put the final crown to my joy. 

Immediately after this M. le Due rose, and bowing low to 
the king he forgot to sit down again and put on his hat to 
Speech of M. le spcak, which is the right and usage of the peers 

Due demanding p tt" t i i. e xt 

the education of ^^ Fiauce ; accordmgly not one of us rose. He 
the king. therefore dehvered uncovered and standing the 

speech which is printed at the end of the other proceedings ; 
he read it rather unintelligibly, because his voice was not 
favourable. As soon as he had finished, the Due d'Orleans 
rose, and committed the same blunder. He said, standing 
with his head uncovered, that the demand of M. le Due 
seemed to him just ; and after a few laudations of him, added 
that as M. du Maine was now reduced to his place in the 
seniority of the peerage, M. le Mar^chal de Yilleroy could 
no longer remain under him, which was a new and strong 
reason, besides those that M. le Due had adduced. This 
demand had brought the amazement of the assembly to the 
highest pitch, and the president and the few persons who by 
their disconcerted looks seemed interested in the Due du 
Maine, to despair. The Mar^chal de Yilleroy, without mov- 
ing a muscle, looked furious, and the eyes of M. le Grand 
filled with tears. I could not well distinfruish the beha\'iour 
of his cousin and intimate friend, the Mar^chal d'Huxelles. 
who sheltered himself under the huge brim of his hat pulled 
down over his eyes, but the hat never quivered. The presi- 


dent, crushed by this last thunderbolt, lost countenance al- 
together, and I thought for a moment that his chin would 
drop down upon his knees. 

Presently, the Keeper of the Seals, having told the king's 
law officers to speak, they answered that they had not heard 
He obtains his ^hc proposal of M. Ic Duc ; whereupon, the 
demand. paper was passed down to them from hand to 

hand, during which time the Keeper of the Seals repeated in 
loud tones what the regent had added about the seniority of 
rank in the peerage of the Mar^chal de Villeroy over the 
Duc du Maine. The avocat-general merely cast his eyes 
upon the paper of M. le Duc, and made his speech ; after 
which the Keeper of the Seals went to take the votes. I 
gave mine quite loud, saying, " For this affair, monsieur, I 
vote very willingly to give the superintendence of the king's 
education to M. le Duc." 

The result announced, the Keeper of the Seals called 
upon the clerk of the parliament to bring his papers and 
Registration of liis little dcsk closc to his own, and make im- 
by the "Tit dT mediately, in presence of the king, all the 
justice." registrations of what had now been read and 

decreed, and to sign and seal them. This was done without 
any difficulty, under the eyes of the Keeper of the Seals, 
who never lifted them from the process ; but as there were 
five or six decrees to enregister, it took a long time to do so. 

I had closely observed the king when the question of his 

education came up, and I did not remark m him any sort of 

The king's be- cmotiou, or chaugc, uot even constraint. It 
haviour ; his ^^,^j., ^|^g ^^^^ ^^^ q£ ^j^g spcctaclc, and he was 

indifference about ■*• 

M. du Maine. gtiU quite frcsh while the registrations were 
being written. During that time, as there were no more 
speeches to occupy his attention, he began to laugh with 
those who were nearest to him, and to amuse himself with 


what he saw, even to remarking that the Due de Louvigny, 
though at quite a distance from the throne, wore a velvet 
coat, and he joked about the heat he must be in ; but all this 
gracefully. This indifference to M. du Maine struck every 
one, and publicly contradicted what the partisans of the lat- 
ter endeavoured to spread about ; namely, that the king's eyes 
had reddened, though neither at the lit de justice nor after- 
wards had he dared to show his feelings. The truth was, 
his eyes were dry and serene, and he never uttered the name 
of the Due du Maine but once afterwards, and that was on 
the evening of the same day, when he asked where he was 
going, with a very indifferent air, without saying more either 
then, or later, or even naming his children. The latter had 
seldom taken the trouble to go and see the king ; and when 
they did go it was only to hold their own little court apart 
in his presence and amuse themselves together. 

While the registration was going on, I turned my eyes 
gently on all sides of me, and though I steadily controlled 
them, I could not resist the temptation to compensate myself 
for the past on the president ; I crushed him with a hundred 
glances prolonged and vehement. Insult, contempt, disdain, 
triumph, darted from my eyes to the marrow of his bones ; 
often he lowered his own glance when he caught mine ; once 
or twice he fixed his eyes upon me, and I gratified myself 
by spurning him with stealthy but vindictive smiles, which 
utterly confounded him. I bathed myself in his rage, I took 
delight in making him feel it ; I joked about him sometimes 
with my two neighbours, making them, with a wink, look at 
him when I knew that he would see it ; in a word, I gave 
myself free rein upon him as much as I possibly could. 

The registrations being at last completed, the king de- 
scended from the throne to the lower seats by his little steps, 
and passed behind the chair of the Keeper of the Seals, 


followed by the regent, the two princes of the blood, and the 
necessary seigneurs of his suite. At the same moment the 
The " lit de marshals of France descended by the end steps 

justice •■ ends. from their raised seats, and while the king 
crossed the parquet accompanied by the deputation which 
had received him, they passed between the benches of the 
counsellors, directly opposite to us, and put themselves in 
the suite of the king at the door of the hall, by which the 
king went out as he had come. At the same time the two 
bishop-peers, passing before the throne, came to put them- 
selves at our head, in front of me, all of us keenly re- 
joicing. We followed them, two and two, along our benches, 
in order of precedence, descending the three steps at the end 
and continuing straight to the door in front of us, through 
which we issued. The parhament then began its march, and 
issued by the other door, which was the one through which 
we had entered, and by which the king had entered and 
issued. Way was made for us to the steps. The crowd, 
the company, the spectacle restrained our talk and our joy. 
I was choking with it. I entered my carriage at once, for it 
was there at hand, and it got me very easily out of the court- 
yard, so that I had no detention, and from the session to my 
own house took me less than a quarter of an hour. 

VOL. IV. — V) 


Enteking my own house about half-past two o'clock, I 
found at the foot of the staircase Humi^res, Louville, and 
The regent forces ^^ "^7 family, mcludiug my mother, curiosity 
me to tell the haviug dragged her from her room, which she 

Duchesse d'Or- 

leans of the fall of had uot left siucc the beginning of the winter. 
We remained down stairs in my apartment, 
where, while changing my suit and shirt, I was answering 
their eager questions, when M. de Biron was announced, 
he having forced an entrance, which I had forbidden in 
order to rest a little in freedom. Biron put his head mto 
my cabinet and begged to be allowed to say a word to me. 
I went, half-dressed, into my chamber with him. He told 
me the Due d'Orl^ans had expected me to go straight to 
the Palais-Eoyal from the Tuileries, as I had promised him. 
I asked Biron if he knew what the regent wanted me for. 
He replied it was to go to Saint-Cloud and inform the 
Duchesse d'Orldans from him of what had taken place. 
This was to me a thunderbolt. Biron agreed with me as 
to the painfulness of such an errand, but exhorted me to 
go at once to the Palais-Eoyal, where I was impatiently 
awaited. I returned to my cabinet so changed that Mme. 
de Saint-Simon cried out, supposing that some alarming 
thing had happened. I told them what I had just heard, 
and after Biron had talked with them a moment and ex- 
horted me to lose no time in obeying, he went off to dinner. 
Ours was just served. I waited a while to recover from 
my first agitation, then I concluded not to annoy the Due 


d'Orleans by my slowness if he was absolutely deter- 
mined on this matter, at the same time to do my best to 
avoid an errand so hard and painful. I therefore swallowed 
some soup and an egg, and went off to the Palais-Royal. 

There the Due d'Orleans told me he knew the pain it 
would be to me to announce to the Duchesse d'Orleans an 
event so distressing to her in her way of thinking, but he 
must own that he could not write it to her ; they were 
not on terms of tenderness ; that she would keep and show 
his letter; that I had always been the make-peace between 
them, and this, joined to my friendship for each of them, 
made him beg me, for love of both, to undertake this com- 
mission. I answered, after the proper compliments and 
respects, that of all men in the world I was the one least 
suitable for this errand ; that I was known to be extremely 
sensitive about the rights of my rank ; that the rank of 
the bastards had always been intolerable to me ; that I 
had never ceased to ardently desire what had now hap- 
pened ; that I had said so a hundred times to the Duchesse 
d'Orleans and once to the Due du Maine ; and for me to 
go and announce to her this new^s, which put me at the 
summit of joy, was not only a want of respect but would 
be insulting to her, to whom it would cause the deepest 
grief. " You are wrong," replied the Due d'Orleans ; " that 
is not reasoning. It is just because you have always 
spoken so frankly about the bastards to Mme. d'Orlt^ans, 
and have always behaved head up in this matter, that I 
ask you to go. Don't refuse me this mark of friendship ; 
I know perfectly well how distasteful the errand is ; but 
in such an important matter you ought not to refuse a 
friend." I protested, I contested ; great verbiage on both 
sides, — in short, no way of getting out of it ; in vain I 
said it would embroil me with her forever, that the world 


would think it very strange I took such an embassy ; no 
ears for all that, but such redoubled eagerness that I had 
to yield. 

When I reached Saint-Cloud they told me the Duchesse 
d'Orlf^ans was at vespers. I waited in the apartment of 
I break the news ^^^® Mar^chalc de Eochefort, which opens on 
to the Duchesse the vestibulc to the chapel. A moment later 


they came to tell me that the Duchesse 
d'Orleans, hearing of my arrival, had returned to her apart- 
ment; and presently the Mar^chale de Eochefort arrived, 
limping along on her stick, and sent by the Duchesse 
d'Orleans to bring me to her. On entering the bedroom 
the marechale left me. I was told that her Eoyal High- 
ness was in the marble salon that adjoins it, though lower 
by three steps. I turned and saw her, and then bowed 
with an air that was wholly different from my usual man- 
ner. At first she did not perceive the change, and called 
to me to come down to her, in a gay and natural manner ; 
then, observing that I stopped at the foot of the steps, she 
cried out, " Good God, monsieur ! how you look ! What 
news do you bring me ? " Seeing that I did not move or 
answer, she asked again. I slowly made a few steps for- 
ward, and then, after her third question, I said, " Madame, 
have you heard nothing ? " " ISTo, monsieur ; I only know 
there has been a lit de justice, but nothing of what hap- 
pened there." " All ! madame," I said, " then I am more 
unfortunate than I thought." " What is it, monsieur ? " 
she asked ; " tell me quickly what has happened." So say- 
ing, she sat up on the sofa on which she had been lying. 
" Come here ; sit down," she added. I approached and told 
her I was in despair. She, more and more agitated, said, 
" Speak, speak ! it is better to hear bad news from friends 
than from others." Those words wrung my heart and 


made me feel the pain I was going to give. I went up to 
her and told her that the regent had reduced M. le Due 
du Maine to his rank of seniority in the peerage, reinstat- 
ing the Comte de Toulouse in all the honours he enjoyed. 
Here I paused for a moment ; then I added that he had given 
the superintendence of the king's education to M. le Due. 

Her tears began to tiow in abundance. She did not 
answer, did not cry out, but wept bitterly. She pointed 
to a seat, and I sat down, — my eyes fixed on the ground 
for some time. Then I told her that M. le Due d'Orl^ans, 
who had forced upon me rather than given me so sad an 
errand, had expressly ordered me to say to her that he had 
very strong proofs in hand against M. du Maine ; that his 
consideration for her had long withheld him, but that now 
it had been impossible to delay any longer. She repHed 
gently that her brother was very unfortunate ; and soon 
after she asked me if I knew his crime, and of what nature 
it was. I told her that the regent had never spoken of it 
to me, and that I had not ventured to question him, seeing 
that he said no more. A moment later I expressed my own 
grief in knowing hers, the repugnance I felt at this painful 
errand, and the resistance I had made to it ; to all of which 
she rephed by signs and a few kind words broken by sobs. 
She asked me if I knew what the Due d'Orl^ans wished 
her to do about her brothers ; adding that she Would not 
see them if he did not wish it. I replied that the fact of 
his giving me no orders on that point was a proof he would 
think well of her seeing them ; that as for the Comte de 
Toulouse there could be no difficulty ; and for the Due du 
Maine I saw none either, and would answer for it if need 
were. She spoke of the latter, saying that he must have 
been very criminal ; that she was reduced to wish he 
were. Here a fresh flow of tears interrupted her words. 


I sat still on my chair for a time, not venturing to raise 
my eyes, in a most painful uncertainty as to whether I 
ought to go or stay. At last I told her of my embar- 
rassment, saying that I thought perhaps she might like to 
be alone for a while before giving me her orders. After a 
short silence she said she wished for her women. I rose 
and sent them to her, telling them where to find me if her 
Eoyal Highness desired to see me again. After a time the 
Mar^chale de Kochefort came to say that she wished to 
speak to me. I found her on the same sofa where I had 
left her, a writing-desk on her knees and a pen in her hand. 
As soon as she saw me she said she was going to Mont- 
martre, and was writing to the Due d'Orlt^ans to ask his 
permission ; and she read me her letter, which 

She dictates to 

me a singularly was bcguu by six Or scvcu luics iu a large 
handwriting on a small sheet of paper ; then, 
looking at me with an air of gentleness and friendship, she 
said : " The tears blind me ; I have sent for you to do me 
a kindness ; my hand shakes ; wiU you write it for me ? " 
so saying she held out the writing-case with the paper upon 
it. I took it, and she dictated the rest. I was struck with 
the greatest astonishment at a letter so concise, so expres- 
sive, with sentiments so becoming, in words so well chosen ; 
and all in an order and precision that the most tranquil 
reflection could scarcely have produced in the best of writers, 
and issuing spontaneously amid violent distress, sudden 
agitation, the tumult of many passions broken by sobs and 
torrents of tears. I shall always regret that I could not 
copy it. It was so dignified, so just, so restrained, that it 
was equally loyal to truth and to duty, — a letter so per- 
fectly beautiful that, although I remember in the main 
what was in it, I dare not write it down for fear of degrad- 
ing it. A\Tiat a sad pity that so much sense, intelligence, 


right-mindedness in a spirit so capable of controlling itself 
in moments usually uncontrollable, should be spent on this 
mania of bastardy, which ruined and devastated everything. 
The letter written, I read it to her. She would not close 
it, and asked me to give it back to her. 

The Due du Maine and the Comte de Toulouse, on leav- 
ing the Council chamber, went down to the apartment of 
the Due du Maine, where they shut them- 

Conductofthe _ '' 

Comte de Tou- sclvcs up with their most confidential friends. 
They chose them well, for no one ever knew 
what passed. The Comte de Toulouse did not leave to go 
to his own house till five o'clock, when he seemed inclined 
to follow the fortunes of his brother ; but d'O, who had 
retained over his mind, as he had over his household, the 
sort of control of a former governor, dissuaded him, — not 
that d'O was unfriendly to the Due du Maine, but he 
was more attached to his own interests, and those were 
certainly not to allow his master to annihilate himself 
by going into exile in the country. We heard afterwards 
that the frankness with which the Chevalier d'Hautefort, 
his equerry, and lieutenant-general of the navy, spoke to 
him, determined the Comte de Toulouse to take the wiser 
course. He thought of himself alone at Eambouillet, out 
of all condition or power to undertake anything ; in danger 
of a degradation like that of his brother for refusing to 
accept the declaration in his favour; dependent on the 
fortunes and caprices of a crazy woman whom he abhorred 
and a brother whom he neither loved nor respected. The 
consequences made him tremble, and he determined to 
keep his rank and his present position. The next day 
but one, Sunday, he held the council of the navy as usual 
and came in the afternoon to the Council of Eegency 
with a cold, reserved, and serious manner. Some persons 


were surprised and sorry to see him there. Few approached 
him, and shortly after his arrival we took our places. As 
soon as I was seated I whispered to him that I should only> 
venture to say one word, which I could not help saying 
namely: that this was the first time I had ever seated 
myself below him with pleasure. His thanks were of his 
nature, cold. I did not speak to him again during this 
Council. His coldness lasted some time. I think he 
thought it was decorous, and I did not try to warm him ; 
but little by Uttle we returned to our old relations ; and I 
heard afterwards from the Duchesse Sforza that he blamed 
the Duchesse d'Orleans very much for her hard feelings 
towards me and for refusing to see me ; and had even made 
her cry about it more than once. 

The parliament returned from the lit de justice on foot, 

with very little satisfaction from the people in the streets, 

none of whom followed them, or from the 

Clandestine use 

of secret registers sliops, from whicli tlicy heard remarks very 
y par lamen . different f rom those they expected. Wlien 
they reached their own Chamber they breathed freer from 
the fear and shame they had endured, and tried to avenge 
themselves, clandestinely, by causing to be entered on a fly- 
sheet of a secret register that they had not been able or 
permitted to vote at the lit de justice, and they therefore 
protested against all that was done there. 

Thus ended this great affair, so important to the peace of 
the State, by consolidating the royal authority in the hands of 
the regent, and preventing a division of it which would soon 
have left him a vain and empty show of power ; a compli- 
cated affair, the success of wliich was due equally to dihgence 
and to secrecy, to want of preparation in the cabal already 
formed, and to the weakness of its priacipal leaders. The 
honour that this action won for the regent in foreign nations 


is inconceivable. They began to recover from the fear of 
not being able to treat securely with a prince who allowed 
his power to be wrested from him by legists; this is how 
the King of Sicily expressed himself freely in so many 
words at Turin ; and the other powers made it as distinctly 

The day after the lit de justice M. le Due assumed pos- 
session of the education of the king and began his functions. 
M. le Due takes Hc cstabhshcd himself a few days later in the 
education o/the apartment occupied by the Due du Maine at 
J^g- the Tuileries. On the afternoon of the day 

of the lit de justice Mardchal de Villeroy, accompanied by 
M. de Frdjus and the rest of the education, went ostenta- 
tiously, though inwardly raging, to the hotel de Condd, 
where the supple respects on one side, and the false compli- 
ments on the other made quite a spectacle. The next day 
the king went to drive in the Cours, and M. le Due accom- 
panied him in place of the Due du Maine, thus making 
pubHc his function. 

It is well known that Mme. de L^vi had a great deal to 

do with making M. de Frdjus the king's preceptor. She 

, . was a woman of much mind, Hvely to excess. 

My relations ' -^ ' 

with Fieury, always ardcut, seeing persons and things only 

Bishop of Frejus. i i . i t t -« «- 

through passion ; she was possessed about M. 
de Frejus to folly, if the truth be told, but also in all 
propriety and honour ; for this woman, with her transports 
of affection and the reverse, was deeply imbued with virtue, 
honour, rehgion, and decorum. She was the daughter of 
the Due de Chevreuse and therefore intimately my friend, 
and always in the closest union with Mme. de Saint-Simon. 
Talking with us one evening, she began upon the subject 
of M. de Frdjus and blamed me for not liking him. I 
showed my surprise, for I really had no reason to like or 


dislike him. That did not satisfy her, and she returned 
to the charge again and again. I concluded therefore that 
this was done by agreement with M. de Fr<5jus, who, look- 
ing afar, desired to smooth his way. I always answered 
civilly about him, for I had no reason to do otherwise ; so 
that finally he addressed me one day in the king's cabinet, 
and soon after came to my house and asked himself to 
dinner. After that he came quite often, frequently to 
dinner, and I used sometimes to go and see him in the 
evenings. He was always a good talker and good company, 
and had passed his life in choice society. Many subjects 
therefore came up in our conversations. 

One evening when I was with him, soon after he began 

his functions as preceptor, they brought him a package. As 

it was late, and he was hi his dressing-gown 

an easy, novel, and uight-cap at the corner of his tire, I made 

agreeable, and ^^ ^£ ^^ away and Ict hiiu opcu his packet. 

useful form of in- o »/ i jr 

structionfor He prevented me, and said it was only some 

themes of the king which he made the Jesuits 
correct, and they had sent them back. He had good reason 
to use this help, for he himself knew nothing but the great 
world, Tuellc, and gallantry. Apropos of the king's themes 
I asked him, as if not approving it, whether he intended 
to put much Latin into his head. He said no, only enough 
to keep him from being entirely ignorant of it ; and we soon 
agreed that history, especially that of France, general and 
special, was what he ought to study most. Thereupon a 
thought came into my head, wliich I imparted to him at 
once, of a means whereby to teach the king a thousand very 
instructive and special things that would be useful to him 
all his life, and yet amusing, things which he could scarcely 
learn in any other way. I told him that Gaigniferes, a 
learned and judicious virtuoso, had spent his life in all sorts 


of historical researches, and had, with much trouble and 
expensive journeys, collected a great number of portraits of 
men and women of all kinds who had figured in France, 
especially at Court, in pubhc affairs, and in the army, from 
the time of Louis XI. ; and m the same way, but in less 
quantity, those of foreign nations. I said I had often seen 
these portraits, though only in part, because he had no room 
to hang them, although he had lived in a vast house, opposite 
the Incurables ; and that Gaigniferes before his death had 
given this vast accumulation to the king.-^ 

Now the cabinet of the king at the Tuileries had a door 
which opened into a very long and handsome gallery which 
was entirely bare. This door had been walled up ; and a few 
plank partitions had been put in the gallery to accommodate 
the valets of the Marechal de Villeroy ; and I proposed to 
M. de Frdjus to hire rooms for the latter elsewhere, open 
the door of communication with the king, cover the walls 
with Gaigniferes' portraits (which were probably rotting in 
some storage room), and tell the preceptors of the little boys 
who came to pay their court to the king to teach their pupils 
to know these personages from histories and memoirs, so that 
they could talk about them while following the king in this 
gallery, while he, M. de Frdjus, could tell the king about 
them fundamentally ; in this way the king would get a 
sketch of consecutive history into his mind, and a thousand 
anecdotes very useful to a king which he could not obtain 
elsewhere. I said he would be struck in the first place with 
the singularity of the figures and clothes, and this would 
help him to remember the facts and dates of these personages ; 
that neither Christianity nor policy forbade his knowing 

1 The Bibliotheque Nationale still possesses a part of the portraits and 
manuscripts collected by Gaignicres. Much curious information can be 
found there on the ancient institutions of France. (Note by the French 


about the birth, fortunes, actions, and behaviour of persons 
dead themselves and all who belonged to them ; and in that 
way, little by little, the king would learn what were good 
services and ill services, how fortunes are made and ruined, 
the rascalities, the scoundrehsms, the arts and shifts by 
which persons gain their ends, deceive, govern, and muzzle 
kings, set up cabals and minions, thrust out merit, mind, 
capacity, virtue, — in a word, the manoeuvres of Courts, of 
which the lives of these personages furnished examples of 
all kinds. I advised him to bring this amusement down 
to the time of Henri IV. ; for it would put historically into 
the head of the king most important things without his 
perceiving the instruction, which would remain, perhaps to 
the end of his life, one of the most useful he ever received ; 
for the portraits would always remind him of it and give 
him great facihty for more serious and connected study ; 
and all this while running about and amusing himself. M. 
de Fr^jus expressed himself as charmed with the idea and 
extremely glad of it. But he did nothing, and henceforth 
I saw what would come of the education of the king, and 
said no more to M. de Frdjus of either the portraits or the 
gallery, where the valets of Mardchal de Villeroy were left 
in peace. 

Cellamare, the Spanish ambassador, a man of much sense 
and ability, had busied himself for a long time in secretly 
ceiiamare's plot Stirring up strifcs. His object was nothing 
against the jgss than to bring the whole kingdom to rebel 

regent. ^ ® 

against the government of the Due d'Orldans, 
and, without seeing clearly what could be done with the 
regent, to put the King of Spain at the head of affairs in 
France, with a Council and ministers appointed by him, and 
a lieutenant under him, who should be in fact regent, and 
was no other than the Due du Maine. These plotters reck- 


oned on the parKaments of Paris and the provinces, on the 
leaders and promoters of the Unigenitus, on the whole of 
Bretagne, on the late king's Court, so accustomed to the rule 
of the bastards and Mme. de Maintenon; and they had 
never, for a long time, ceased to attach whomsoever they 
could to Spain by all sorts of promises and hopes. They 
were discovered just as they were taking their very last 
measures ; but the regent and the State were strangely 
betrayed, and the former showed an almost incredible 

Things having reached this point on the part of Spain and 
of those who were conspiring with it for their own hopes or 
„. J ^ vengeance, it became necessary to reveal in 

His despatches ° "^ 

captured at Madrid the exact state of things in France, 

and all the names of those concerned. Cella- 
mare, too wary to confide to any of his own people a despatch 
of such consequence, wished the messenger to be chosen in 
Madrid, saymg that he must be somewhat above a courier, 
but not of such quahty as to excite suspicion. Accordingly 
they chose in Madrid a young ecclesiastic, who called him- 
self, or others called him, the Abb^ Portocarrero, and they 
gave him as an assistant the son of Monteleone. Nothing 
could be better planned than for two young men to meet 
casually in Paris, one arriving from Madrid, the other from 
the Hague, and to subsequently join each other to return to 
Madrid. AMiether it was that the arrival of the abb^ and 
his short stay before returning to Madrid excited the sus- 
picions of the Abb^ Dubois and his emissaries, or whether 
Dubois had con-upted some official of the Spanish embassy by 
whom he was warned that these young men were carrying an 
important package, or whether there was some other mystery, 
I cannot say. However that may be, the Abbd Dubois sent 
in pursuit of them ; they were arrested at Poitiers, their 

238 MEMOIRS or the dug DE SAINT-SIMON, [cii.vr. viii. 

papers taken from them and brought to Dubois by the 
courier despatched to convey the news. 

Chance does great thmgs sometimes. The courier from 
Poitiers reached the Abbd Dubois just as the Due d'Orl^ans 
was going to the Opera. Dubois looked over the papers and 
told the news of the capture to the regent as he came from 
his box. The prince, who always went at that hour to his 
roues, did so as usual, under pretext that the Abbd Dubois had 
not had time to examine the papers, with a careless indiffer- 
ence to which everything succumbed. The first hours of his 
morning were never clear; his head, bewildered still with 
the fumes of wine and the digestion of the \dands at his 
supper, was not in a state to understand ; but this was the 
time chosen by Dubois to give liim such an account of the 
papers seized at Poitiers as he thought proper. He said and 
showed only what he chose, and never let any one of the 
documents go into the hands of the regent, much less into 
those of others. The bhnd confidence and careless neo-h- 
gence of the prince on this occasion are incomprehensible ; 
and what is still more so, the same conduct reimed throu'^-h- 
out the whole of this affair in all its phases, and thus ren- 
dered the Abbd Dubois sole master of proofs, suspicions, 
convictions, absolutions, and punishments. 

But whether it was that the regent knew more than he 
chose to show, and that fear of the number, names, position, 
and consideration of those who were mixed up in this affair 
made him take the course he did, or whether, as I beheve, 
his continual negligence and his subjection under the yoke 
that Dubois put upon him left him in ignorance of the real 
depth and importance of the conspiracy and of the names of 
the chief persons concerned in it, certain it is that out of 
this curious obscurity there appeared a plot of M. and Mme. 
du Maine, at which they had been working long before the 


lit de justice, and immediately after the beginning of the 
regency, — a plot to stir into rebellion the so-called nobility, 
the parliament, Bretagne, and all who could be set to work 
to carry out what Mme. du Maine had once declared so dis- 
tinctly to the Due de La Force : " When persons have once 
acquired the rank of princes of the blood and the right of 
succession to the throne, the State may be overthrown and 
set ablaze before they will allow it to be wrested from 

The day after the arrival of the courier from Poitiers the 
Prince de Cellamare, warned on his side of the untoward 
event, but flattering himself that the presence 
arrested; his of a bankrupt banker [who was with them] 
was the cause of the arrest of the two young 
men and the seizure of their papers, concealed his uneasiness 
under a very tranquil exterior, and went at one o'clock to 
M. Le Blanc, secretary of war, to ask for a packet of letters 
he had intrusted to those young travellers on their return to 
Spain, furnished as they were with a passport from the king. 
Le Blanc, who had had his lesson, replied that the packet 
had been seen, and found to contain important matters, and, 
so far from being returned to him, he, Le Blanc, had orders 
to take Cellamare back to his own house with the Abb(5 
Dubois — for the abb^, being notified of Cellamare's arrival, 
had followed him promptly. They made the prince get into 
Le Blanc's coach and got in with him. The ambassador, 
who felt that such a compliment was not risked without 
due precautions for its execution, made no difficulty, and 
did not lose for a moment his coolness and tranquillity 
during the three hours they spent in rummaging all liis 
desks and boxes and in selecting the papers they wanted. 
He behaved like a man who fears nothing and is perfectly 
assured as to his own conduct. He treated Le Blanc very 


civilly ; as for Dubois, with whom he felt he need keep no 
terms, for the whole plot was evidently discovered, he treated 
him with such contempt that when Le Blanc laid hands on 
a httle casket he called out, " Monsieur Le Blanc, Monsieur 
Le Blanc, let that alone ; it is not for you ; it is only fit for 
the Abb^ Dubois;" adding, as he looked at Dubois, "he has 
been a pimp all his hf e ; those are nothing but women's 
letters." The abbe laughed, not daring to be angry. Ap- 
parently it was a piece of maHce Cellamare wanted to get 
off, for he was aheady old and looked older than he was. 
He had a great deal of wit, knowledge, and capacity, all 
turned in solid directions, no sort of debauchery, and all 
his gallantry was merely for commerce with the great world, 
to discover what he wanted to know, to make and hold par- 
tisans to the King of Spain and sow, without imprudence, 
ill-will to the regent. In other respects he lived retired in 
his own house, readmg and working. As soon as he and 
his two acolytes reached his house, a detachment of mous- 
quetaires guarded the building and doors. 

I heard in the morning of the seizure at Poitiers, but 
not of this arrest. While I was at dinner a servant came 
from the Due d'Orleans to tell me to be at the Tuileries 
for a Council of Eegency. As this was not the regular day 
for it I asked if anything new had happened. The man 
seemed surprised at my ignorance and told us that the 
Spanish ambassador had been arrested. 

Tuesday is the day on which all the foreign ministers 

go to the Palais-Eoyal, and December the 13th was the first 

Tuesday after Cellamare's detention : they were 

The other foreign "^ ' '' 

ministers make all there, ambassadors and others. None of 
them made the slightest complaint as to what 
had occurred, and they each received a copy of two let- 
ters [captured at Poitiers and] read to the Council, which 


left no doubt that Cellamare was at the head of the 
affair, and that Alberoni was equally involved in it. In 
the afternoon the Spanish ambassador was made to get into 
a carriage with du Libois, a captain of cavalry, and a captain 
of dragoons, selected to accompany him to Blois and remain 
there with him until news was received of the Due de Saint- 
Aignan's return to France. 

Sunday, December 25, Christmas Day, the Due d'Orl^ans 

summoned me to go to him at the Palais-Eoyal at four 

o'clock. I found myself alone with him and 

The regent con- -m r i t^ it 

fides to me and M. Ic Duc. Wc sat dowu. It was in his 
°'^rM^^^\^' little winter cabinet at the end of the short 

ana IVlme. du 

Maine are in the gallcry. After a momeut's silence, he told 
me to look and see if any one was in that 
little gallery, and if the door at the end of it was closed. 
I went to see ; it was closed and there was no one in the 
gallery. That settled, the regent told us that we should 
certainly be surprised to hear that M. and Mme. du Maine 
were up to their necks in this affair of the Spanish am- 
bassador, and that he held the written proofs of it. He 
added that he had forbidden the Keeper of the Seals, the 
Abb^ Dubois, and Le Blanc, the only ones who knew of it, 
to let their knowledge transpire, and he requested the same 
secrecy and caution from us, adding that he had wished to 
consult M. le Duc and myself before deciding what course 
to take. I thought to myself that as those other three men 
knew of it, he must have discussed the matter with them, 
and probably had already decided on his course with the 
Abb^ Dubois, and was only wishing to flatter M. le Duc and 
me by asking our advice. M. le Duc went straight to the 
point, and said he ought to arrest both of them and put 
them in a place where they could do no further harm. I 
supported that opinion, and dwelt on the danger of not 

VOL. IV. — IG 


doing this at once, partly to stun and throw into confusion 
the whole plot by removing its leaders. 

The Due d'Orl^ans agreed that this was the best course, 
but he dwelt on the rank of Lime, du Maine, less I think 
We all advise from conviction than to make the son of her 
their arrest. -brother talk. M. le Due rephed that that was 

an objection which it was for Mm to make ; but so far from 
thinking it ought to be made, it was, in his opinion, a reason 
the more for taking that course. I insisted on the courage 
and firmness the regent ought to show at so critical a 
moment, and on the necessity for terrifying this dangerous 
cabal and taking from it its cliief supporters in name, intrigue, 
and means. The regent then gave in, without reluctance. 

Thursday the 29th, at ten in the morning. La Billarderic, 

lieutenant of the body-guard, after surrounding the house 

at Sceaux without being seen or heard, went 

The Due du _® 

Maine arrested up to the Duc du Maine as lie w^as leaving 
the house to hear mass m the chapel, and 
asked him, very respectfully, not to re-enter the house, but 
to get into a carriage he had brought for him. M. du Maine, 
who was alone at Sceaux with the servants, and had had 
time to put his papers in safe order, made no resistance ; 
he merely said that he had expected this compHment for 
some days, and got immediately into the carriage. La 
Billarderie sat beside him, and on the front seat was Favan- 
court, hrigadicr of the first company of mousquetaires, who 
was to guard him when in prison. The Duc du Maine 
seemed surprised and agitated on seeing Favancourt, but 
when they reached the end of the avenue of Sceaux, where 
the body-guard came in sight, he turned pale. The silence 
in the carriage was scarcely broken. Now and then M. du 
Maine said that he was perfectly ignorant of the suspicions 
against him ; that he was greatly attached to the king, and 


not less so to the Due d'Oiie^ans, who would certainly not 
fail to admit it ; that it was very unfortunate his Koyal High- 
ness gave ear to his enemies, but he did not name them. 
All this was said spasmodically and with many sighs ; now 
and then there were signs of the cross, low mutterings like 
prayers, and divings down of the body at each church or 
each crucifix they passed. He did not know until the next 
day that he was going to Dourlens. I heard all these cir- 
cumstances and those of his imprisonment from Favancourt, 
whom I knew well; he taught me the exercise and was 
corporal of the first company of mousquetaires when I was 
in the same brigade, and since then had always courted me. 

The same day Ancenis, who had just received the place of 
his father the Due de Charost as captain of the body-guard, 
^^ ^ , ^ arrested the Duchesse du Maine at her own 

The Duchesse du 

Maine arrested in housc in the ruc Saiut-Honord. Whcu she 
found she was being taken to Dijon she de- 
claimed vehemently, but worse when she entered the chateau 
and found herself a prisoner under the key of M. le Due. 
She was furious against her nephew and the horror of the 
choice of that place. Nevertheless, after these first transports, 
she came to herself and saw that she was not in a situation 
to show passion. She then shut up her wrath within her, 
affecting indifference to everything and disdainful secur- 
ity. Her sons, the Prince de Dombes and the Comte d'Eu, 
were exiled to Eu, where they had a gentleman in ordinary 
always near them. Mile, du Maine was sent to Maubuisson. 
The Comte de Toulouse, ever the same, went immediately 
on the arrest of M. and Mme. du Maine to see the Due 
Excellent, d'Orldaus. Hc told him distinctly that he re- 

straightforward gardcd thc king, the regent, and the State as 

conduct of the o ' 

Comte de ouc and the same thing ; he assured him with- 

Toulouse. , -IT,-. , 

out reserve or evasion, that he would never be 


found in any way contrary to the duty or the fidelity he 
owed to them, nor in any cabal or intrigue ; that he was 
very sorry for what had happened to his brother, adding, 
immediately, that he did not answer for him. The regent 
repeated this to me the same day, and seemed, with good 
reason, charmed by this straightforward frankness. The 
blow thus struck upon M. and Mme. du Maine completed 
the scattering of their followers, whom they had used and 
fooled with so much art, success, and subtlety ; the bulk of 
them opened their eyes without assistance from others ; the 
small number of confidants who had led and blinded the rest 
subsided into consternation and terror. 

Parliament rendered, February 4, a decree which con- 
tented itself with merely suppressing four very strange docu- 
I7IQ ments and forbidding all persons to print, sell, 

Forged papers ; or discuss them, uudcr pain of being prose- 
come°fro"m the cutcd as disturbcrs of the public peace and 
King of Spain. guilty of leze-majcsty. The first was entitled 
" Copy of a letter from the Cathohc king, written by his 
hand, which Prince Cellamare, ambassador, had orders to 
present to the Very Christian King on September 3, 1718 ;" 
the second was entitled " Copy of a circular letter from the 
King of Spain to all the parliaments of France, dated Sep- 
tember 4, 1718 ; " the third was a " Manifesto of the Catholic 
king addressed to the Three Estates of Fra,nce;" and the 
fourth was a " Petition presented to the Catholic king by the 
Three Estates of France." One did not need to be very well 
informed to know that none of these papers ever came from 
Spain. They certainly were not found in the valises of the 
Abbd Portocarrero and his companion, nor among the papers 
of Cellamare. They made some noise for a time, but were 
soon forgotten. The regent despised them, and they did not 
disturb him in the least. But it was otherwise with certain 


verses that appeared about the same time under the name of 
" Philippiques " which were distributed with great rapidity 
and in extraordinary quantity. La Grange, formerly page of 
the Princesse de Conti, the king's daughter, was the author, 
and never denied it. All that hell could vomit of false and 
true was there expressed in very beautiful verse, a most 
poetic style, and with all the art and wit imaginable. The 
Due d'Orl^ans knew of the poem, which was long, and wanted 
to see it, but was never able to do so because no one dared 
show it to him. 

He spoke to me several times about it, and at last exacted 

so decidedly that I should bring it to him that there w^as no 

way to avoid doing so. I therefore brought 

Distress of the J b o 

regent at the it ; but as f or reading it to him, I declared that 

" Philippiques." ^-, -,. __, i-, i i 

1 would never do it. He then took it and read 
it to himself, standing by the window of his little winter 
cabinet where we were. At first he stopped now and then to 
speak of it, without seeming very much moved. But sud- 
denly I saw his face change ; he turned to me with tears in 
his eyes, looking as though he were about to faint. " Ah ! " 
he said, " this is too much ; this horror is more than I can 
bear." He had reached the part where the villain exhibits 
him as resolving to murder the king, and just ready to com- 
mit the crime. Here the author redoubles his energy, poesy, 
invocations, beauties, terrible and terrifying invectives, hid- 
eous descriptions, pathetic pictures of the youth and innocence 
of the king, and of the hopes he gave, adjurations to the 
nation to save so dear a victim from the barbarity of his 
murderer, — in a word, all that art could supply most delicate, 
tender, strong, and damnable, imposing and affecting. I tried 
to profit by the gloomy silence into whicli he fell to take 
away from him that execrable paper, but I could not manage 
it ; he expended himself in just complaints of such horrible 


wickedness, in tender words about the king, and then he 
chose to finish the reading, interrupting it now and again 
with comments. Never did I see a man so grieved to the 
soul, so deeply moved and overwhelmed by an injustice so 
monstrous and persistent. I myself was almost beside my- 
self. Had any one then seen liim, even the most prejudiced 
(provided they were so in good faith) would have yielded to 
that glow of innocence, that horror of the crime that was 
apparent in him. I had great difficulty in recovering my- 
self, and all the pains in the world to recover him by even a 

This La Grange, who in himself was worth nothing in any 
way whatever, was a good poet, though nothing else and 
never anything else ; he had insinuated himself in that 
capacity at Sceaux, where he soon became one of the chief 
favourites of Mme. du Maine. She and her husband both 
knew of his life, conduct, morals, and mercenary rascality ; 
they also knew how to employ him. He was arrested soon 


after and sent to the lies Sainte-Marguerite, wlience he ob- 
tained a release toward the close of the regency, and had the 
audacity to show himself everywhere in Paris. 

We have seen elsewhere., the advice I gave the Due 
d'Orldans as to the treatment of Pfere Tellier ; namely, 
PereTemer;itry that he should be scut at oucc to La Flfeche, 
fined'at"Ll' '^°"' ^^^ cxpressly forbidden to sleep away from 
^•^«='^^- it or to receive or write letters unless read by 

the person in charge of that duty ; that the king should 
grant him a pension of six thousand francs, besides food, 
lodging, furniture, wood, books, and all that could conduce 
to his health, comfort, and amusement, with two valets and 
a friar to attend him, perfect independence of the Jesuits 
and the college, and freedom to dine out and visit in the 
neighbourhood. I wished to combine a recognition of his 


past services with public tranquillity. The Due d'OrMans 
strongly approved of that advice, given before the king's 
death, but he acted very differently. The pension was 
lessened, but the liberty was greater. Tellier wanted to go 
and live with his intimate friend, the Bishop of Amiens, 
and was allowed to do so. He abused the permission like 
a firebrand, furious and enraged at no longer being master. 
His machinations in France, his intrigues in the Low- 
Countries, his cabals everywhere, could not remain secret. 
He slipped away to Flanders, and went himself to rouse 
up his party, which w^as far too languid for his fiery spirit. 
He did so much that the Bishop of Amiens was strongly 
reprimanded and Pfere Tellier was finally confined at La 
Flfeche. This tyrant of the Church, indignant at being no 
longer able to cabal (his only consolation for the end of 
his reign and his terrible tyranny), found himself in a state 
of subjection at La Flfeche both new and intolerable. 

The Jesuits, spies upon one another, jealous of those 
who have the secret authority and the consideration that 
Ingratitude of authority givcs them over the heads of the 
the Jesuits. mouastic ordcrs and other superiors, are also 

amazingly ungrateful towards those who, having occupied 
the highest places and served their Company with the 
utmost labour and great success, become, through old age 
or infirmities, useless to it. They then regard them with 
contempt, and far from respecting their age, their services, 
or their merits, they leave them in the saddest solitude 
and grudge them even their food. I have seen with my 
own eyes three examples of this in three Jesuits, men of 
honour and true piety, who had held positions of con- 
fidence requiring great talents, with whom I had been 
intimately acquainted. The first was the rector of their 
postulant house in Paris, superior of the same in the prov- 


inces, the writer of several excellent books of piety, and 
for some years assistant to the general in Kome, on whose 
death he returned to Paris, because it is the Jesuit custom 
that each new general of the Order should have new assist- 
ants. Eeturning to the postulant house in Paris, aged 
eighty or more, he was lodged under the tiles on the 
top floor, in soHtude, contempt, and the lack of everything. 
The second was a confessor ; he was long ill, and finally 
died. They scarcely fed him, and I sent him his dinner 
daily for five months because I had seen his pittance and 
his remedies, and he could not help owning to me how 
much he suffered from the treatment he received. The 
third, very old and very infirm, had no better fate. In the 
end, being unable to bear it, he let me know of it, and 
asked to be given an asylum in my house at Versailles, 
on pretext of change of air. Such is the fate of all Jes- 
uits, without excepting the most famous, unless it may be 
a very few who have shone at Court and before the world 
by their sermons and merits, and have made important 
friends, — such as P^res Bourdaloue, La Eue, Gaillard. 

It was therefore to this neglect, contempt, and tacit 
reproach that Pfere Tellier was reduced at La Plfeche, 
although it is true he had a pension of four thousand 
francs. He had always ill-treated even the Jesuits. Those 
who approached him when confessor to the king did so in 
trembling. The chief superiors, whom he governed with a 
rod, felt his harshness and tyranny without the slightest 
relief. Even the general was forced to yield to Tellier 
that absolute despotism which he exercises over the Com- 
pany in general and all Jesuits in particular. All — and 
they themselves told me this in those days many a time — 
disapproved of the violence of his conduct, and felt alarmed 
for the sake of the Company ; they all hated him as a brutal 


master, hard, inaccessible, full of himself, hking to make 
his scorn and his power felt. His exile and the behaviour 
that drew it down upon him was another motive of their 
spite. All these things together did not render Pere Tel- 
lier's enforced retreat at La Flfeche agreeable to him. He 
foimd there superiors and Brethren much embittered, who, 
instead of feeling the terror he had formerly imposed, now 
felt only contempt for him and took pleasure in letting him 
know it. This king of the Church, and, in part, of the 
State, became once more a Jesuit Hke the rest, beneath 
superiors ; and we can well imagine what a hell that was 
to a man so impetuous and so accustomed to command 
without reply, and to abuse that power in every direction. 
Consequently it was not for long. No one heard of him 
again, and he died m six months from the day he was 
taken to La Fl^che. 

The Duchesse de Berry was living after her usual fashion, 

in a mixture of the loftiest pride and the basest and most 

shameful servitude, with austere and frequent 

strange conduct ^ 

of the Duchesse rctrcats to the Carmelites, suppers with vile 

de Berry. . 

company, profaned by mdecent and impious 
jests, the most shameless debauchery mingled with horri- 
ble fears of death and the devil, when all of a sudden she 
fell ill at the Luxembourg. It is necessary to tell all, for 
this is useful to history ; moreover, there will not be found 
in these Memoirs the relation of any other gallantries than 
those which are necessary to an understanding of important 
and interesting events. The Duchesse de Berry would not 
restrain herself in any way, but she was indignant that the 
world dared to speak of that which she did not take the 
pains to conceal. She was pregnant by Rion. Mme. de 
Mouchy was their convenience in tlie matter, though all 
things went on openly to beat of drum. Mme. de Saint- 


Simon, sheltered from much of this, greatly respected and 
beloved by the whole household, and seeing the Duchesse 
de Berry only at such times as she attended on formal duty 
at the Luxembourg, which she left the moment that duty 
was over, was able to ignore what was happening, although 
she was thoroughly informed about it. 

The pregnancy reached its end, and this end, ill-prepared 
for by suppers washed down with wines and the strongest 
The sacraments hquors, bccamc cxtrcmely dangerous. Mme. 
refused to her by ^q Saiut-Simou could uot avoid being assidu- 

the rector and 

Cardinal de ous whcu danger threatened, but she would 

not yield to tlie entreaties of the Due and 
Duchesse d'Orleans to sleep at the Luxembourg. The dan- 
ger becoming imminent, Languet, the celebrated rector of 
Saint-Sulpice, spoke to the regent of the sacraments. The 
first difficulty was that no one could enter the room to pro- 
pose them to the duchess. But a far greater difficulty now 
presented itself. The rector, a man who knew his duty, 
declared that he would not administer the sacraments, nor 
permit them to be administered, so long as Eion and Mme. 
de Mouchy were in the chamber, or even in the Luxem- 
bourg. He said this aloud, in the hearing of every one, to 
the Due d'Orldans, who was less shocked than embarrassed. 
Taking the rector aside he tried to make him yield to 
arguments. Finding him inflexible, he proposed at last to 
refer the matter to Cardinal de jSToailles [Archbishop of 
Paris]. The rector accepted instantly and promised to defer 
to his orders as his diocesan, provided he was allowed to 
explain to him his reasons. The matter was pressing ; the 
Duchesse de Berry had meanwhile confessed, during this 
dispute, to a Franciscan, her confessor. The Due d'Orleans 
flattered himself no doubt that the diocesan would prove 
more amenable than the rector, to whom he was totally 


opposed in opinion about the Unigenitus, a matter on which 
the cardinal was so wholly dependent on himseli. But if 
he really hoped this, he was greatly deceived. 

Cardinal de Noailles arrived; the Due d'Orl^ans took 
him aside with the rector, and the conversation lasted more 
than half an hour. As the declaration of the rector had 
been pubhc the cardinal-archbishop judged it proper that 
his own should be so also, and when all three returned to 
the company and to the door of the chamber he said aloud 
to the rector that he liad very worthily done his duty ; that 
he should not have expected anything else from a man of 
his discernment and experience ; he exhorted him not to let 
himself be deceived in a matter of such importance, and, if 
he needed anything further to authorize him, he forbade 
him, as his diocesan, to administer the sacraments to the 
Duchesse de Berry so long as M. de Eion and Mme. de 
Mouchy were in the chamber, or even in the Luxembourg 
and not dismissed. The excitement over so necessary a 
scandal, the effect in that crowded room, the embarrassment 
of the Due d'Orldans, and the noise it made in the world 
can be imagined. Nevertheless, no one, not even the pro- 
moters of the bull, the most violent enemies of Cardinal de 
Noailles, the fashionable bishops, the women of the great 
world, nor libertines themselves blamed either the rector 
or the archbishop; some because they knew the rules and 
dared not impugn them, but the greater number from horror 
at the conduct of the Duchesse de Berry, and the hatred 
that her haughtiness drew upon her. 

The (|uestion arising between the regent, the cardinal, 
and the rector, all three standing by the doorway, which of 
them should announce this resolution to the Duchesse de 
Berry, who had meantime confessed and expected every 
moment to see the holy sacrament arrive and to receive it, 


the cardinal assumed the duty of speakmg himself to the 
duchess, and was moving into the room with the rector, 
when the Due d'Orl^ans, fearing some sudden and dangerous 
convulsion in his daughter, implored him to wait until he 
could himself prepare her, and went to the door, which he 
held half open for a colloquy. The Duchesse de Berry put 
herself in a passion, answered with fury against canting 
hypocrites who took advantage of her state to dishonour 
her before the world, and did not spare her father for his 
folly and weakness in permitting it. Who could have 
believed it ? she said ; the cardinal and the rector ought to 
have been kicked downstairs ! The Due d'Orleans returned 
to them very small and greatly troubled, not knowing v/hat 
to do between his daughter and the Church. The attention 
and curiosity of the large company who filled the room 
were, naturally, extreme. Mme. de Saint-Simon, with several 
of the Duchesse de Berry's ladies, was seated in the recess 
of a wmdow at a little distance and saw the whole perform- 
ance, being informed from time to time of other particulars. 

Cardinal de NoaHles was there more than two hours, and 
then, seeing that he could not enter the room without a sort 
of violence quite the contrary of persuasion, he thought it 
indecent to stay longer. He therefore reiterated his orders 
to the rector, and told him to watch and not allow the sacra- 
ments to be administered clandestinely. He then went up 
to Mme. de Saint-Simon, took her aside, and told her what 
had passed, regretted it with her, but said he could not 
avoid the scandal. The Due d'Orleans hastened to tell his 
daughter of the departure of the cardmal, which was a great 
relief to him. But on leaving her room he was much aston- 
ished to find the rector established close to the door, and to 
be informed that he had taken that post and there he should 
stay in order not to be deceived about the sacraments. In 


fact, he did stay there firmly four days and nights, except for 
short intervals, when he went to his house near the Luxem- 
bourg for food and rest, leaving two priests on guard till his 
return. Finally, the danger being past, he raised the siege. 

The Duchesse de Berry, safely delivered of a girl, thought 
only of recovery. She was infinitely pained at the manner 
in which every one, even the populace, had taken her illness 
and all that had happened concerning it. She fancied she 
should regain something by opening the gates of the gardens 
of the Luxembourg, which she had long since closed to the 
public. People were very glad of this, and profited by it, 
Irat that was all. The duchess vowed herself to white for 
six months ; at which vow the world only laughed. 

Saturday, April 15, the vigil of the first Sunday after 

Easter, died at Saint-Cyr, in the evening, the celebrated 

and fatal Mme. de Maintenon. What a noise 

Maintenon. Her tliis cvcut would havc made in Europe had 

life at Saint-Cyr. . , i c T i Ti. 

it happened a tew years earlier ! It was 
little known at Versailles, which is so near Saint-Cyr, and 
scarcely mentioned in Paris. I have said so much of this 
too famous, unhappily famous, woman at the time of the 
king's death that little is left to say at the present time ; 
though, having figured so powerfully and banefully for 
thirty-five years without a break, everything, even to her 
last years of seclusion, is of interest. She retired to Saint- 
Cyr at the moment of the king's death, and had the good 
sense to assume the reputation of being dead to the world, 
and never again to set foot outside the enclosure of that 
establishment. She would see no one from the outside 
(except the very few persons I shall presently mention), 
nor would she ask for anything, nor recommend any one, 
nor meddle in any matter whatsoever in which her name 
could be mixed up. Cardinal de l\ohan saw her every 


week ; the Duo clu Maine also, who remamed with her 
three or four hours tete-d,-tUe. All things beamed upon 
her when he was announced ; she kissed her " mignon " 
(for she always called him so) with the utmost tenderness. 
Mme. de Caylus, Mme. de Dangeau, and Mme. de Levi 
were admitted ; also the Due de Noailles, for whom she 
seemed to care but little ; Mar^chal de Villeroy, when he 
could ilnd the time, was always very warmly welcomed; 
Cardinal de Bissy hardly ever went there ; a few obscure 
and fanatical bishops occasionally ; Bloin now and then ; 
and the Bishop of Chartres (Merinville), the diocesan and 
superior of the establishment constantly. 

Once a week when the Queen of England was at Saint- 
Germain she came to dine with Mme. de Maintenon ; but 
never from Chaillot, where she spent much time. Both 
had their armchairs in which they faced each other. At 
the dinner -hour a table was placed betw^een them with 
their covers, the first dishes, and a bell. The young ladies 
of the house waited on them, served them with drink, 
plates, and other dishes when the bell rang; the queen 
was always very kind to them. The meal over, they re- 
moved everything from the room, and brought in coffee. 
The queen stayed two or three hours tUe-ci-tUe with Mme 
de Maintenon, after which they embraced and parted. 
Mme. de Maintenon made three or four steps in receiving 
the queen and at parting from her. The young ladies, 
who were in the antechamber, accompanied the queen to 
her carriage ; they were very fond of her, for she was 
always very gracious to them. They were also charmed 
with Cardinal de Eohan, who never came with empty hands, 
bringing them bonbons and confectionery enough to regale 
them for several days. Mme. de Maintenon was pleased 
with these trifles. Her mornings were occupied with the 


letters she received and answered, chiefly from superiors 
of communities of priests, and seminaries, from abbesses 
and even simple nuns, for the taste for ruling had survived 
all else, and as she wrote singularly well and easily she 
enjoyed her letter writing. All these details I obtained 
from Mme. de Tibouville, a Eochechouart, without prop- 
erty, who had lived from childhood at Saint-Cyr. 

Mme. de Maintenon rose early and went to bed early, 
as she had always done at Court. Her prayers lasted long ; 
she read to herself books of devotion, and sometimes she 
made the young girls read to her a little history and took 
pleasure in making them discuss it, and in giving them 
instruction on such subjects. She heard mass from a 
gallery that was close to the door of her room ; very rarely 
from the choir. She received the sacrament twice a week, 
usually between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, 
after which she returned to her gallery, where on those 
days she stayed a long time. Her dinner was simple, but 
dehcate and very choice in its simplicity, always abun- 
dant. The Due de Noailles, Mornay, and Bloin never let 
her want for game from Saint-Germain and Versailles, or 
for fruit from the buildings. She took nothincr in the even- 

o o 

ings. Sometimes, on very fine days without wind, she 
walked for a while in the garden. 

She appointed all the superiors, chief and subaltern, and 
all the officers. A succinct report of the routine of the 
house was made to her daily, and for all else, the superior 
took her orders. She was " Madame," to the household, 
who were under her control, and though her manners were 
civil and gentle to the ladies of Saint-Cyr and kind to the 
young girls, they all trembled before her. No abbess, 
daughter of France, such as tliere used to be in former 
days, was ever so despotic, so punctually obeyed, so feared, 


SO respected ; but with it all, she was loved by almost every 
one at Saint-Cyr. The priests were under the same sub- 
jection, the same dependence. Never did she speak of 
anything relating to the government or to the Court before 
the young ladies; often of the late king with praise, but 
not earnestly in any way, and never alluding to intrigues, 
cabals, or public business. 

I often wondered why the mar^chals, d'Harcourt so inti- 
mately bound to her Tallard, Villars who owed her so much, 
Mme. du Maine and her children, for whom she had trodden 
under foot all human and divine laws, the Prince de Eohan, 
and many others, never went to see her. The fall of the 
Due du Maine at the lit de justice at the Tuileries gave 
her the first mortal blow. It is not presuming too much to 
suppose that she was well informed of the schemes and 
measures of her " darling," and was sustained by that hope ; 
but when she heard of his arrest she succumbed ; a contin- 
ued fever seized her, and she died at the age of eighty-three, 
in full possession of her mind and faculties. 

I have spoken elsewhere of the Abbd de Vittement, whose 
merit, and that alone, had made him sub-preceptor to the 
Curious butun- ^^^^y — ^ "^^ry rare thing at Court, and without 
intelligible state- j^jg gygy thinking of it, or any one for him. 

ment of Fleury's 

power over the He livcd at the Court in solitude, though never 
^^' sulky or singular, but making himself gener- 

ally liked and much esteemed. An abbey with a revenue 
of tw^elve thousand francs a year became vacant about this 
time, and the regent proposed to the king to give it to his 
sub-preceptor and to tell him so himself. The king was de- 
lighted, sent for him at once, and told him. Vittement ex- 
pressed his gratitude, but modestly asked to be excused from 
accepting it. He was urged by the king, the regent, and 
Mar^chal de Villeroy, who was present He answered that 


he had sufficient means on which to live. The Marechal 
insisted, and told him he could use the income for giving 
alms. Vittement replied humbly that it was not worth 
while to receive charity in order to give it, held firm, and 
retired. This action, which has but few examples, done with 
such perfect simphcity, made quite a noise and increased the 
esteem and respect his virtues had already acquired. But it 
vexed M. de Frdjus, who saw the king's affection for the 
abb^ increased by it. As soon as the latter perceived this he 
considered his vocation at an end, — all the more because he 
felt that if he were really loved and liked, he could hope 
nothing for the true end he had in view. Soon after M. de 
Frdjus advised him very gently to retire. He did so with 
joy, and went to the " Christian Doctrine," which he never 
left again, and where he received scarcely any one. 

Vittement made a prophecy as celebrated as it is surpris- 
ing, the key of which was sought in vain. Bidault related 
it to me. Bidault was one of the valets de chamhre whom 
the Due de Beauvilliers selected for the service of Mgr. le 
Due de Bourgogne. He had intelhgence, education, and 
sense, and, what is more, a true and solid piety. M. de 
BeauvilHers loved him, and the Due de Bourgogne was very 
kind to him and gave him the care of his books. This had 
made me know him well and the more familiarly because 
he took charge of all the affairs of La Trappe in Paris. He 
was placed with the king in the latter's childhood, and when 
he began to collect a few books, Bidault took charge of them. 
This brought him into relations with the Abb^ de Vittement, 
and presently allied them in friendship and confidence. 
Bidault sometimes came to see me, and he also went to see 
Vittement in his retirement. Becoming alarmed at the first 
rays of the omnipotence of Frejus, lately made cardinal, he 
spoke of it to Vittement, who showed no surprise and let 

VOL. IV. 17 


him talk. Bidault, amazed at the cold and silent tranquillity 
with which he was listened to, urged Vittement to tell him 
the reason. " His omnipotence," rephed the abb^, quietly, 
" will last as long as his life, and his reign will be unbounded 
and without trouble. He has known how to bind the king 
by such strong fetters that the king can never break them. 
"\\Tiat I tell you now is what I knoiv. I cannot tell you 
more ; but if the cardinal dies before me, I wiU explain to 
you what I cannot explain during his lifetime." Bidault told 
me this a few days later, and I have heard since that Vitte- 
ment said the same thing to others. Unfortunately, he died 
before the cardinal, and carried off with him this interesting 
secret. Events proved but too weU that Vittement spoke 
the truth. ^ 

Never, after his retirement, did he dream of going to see 
the king or of visiting any one. He lived at the " Christian 
Doctrine," in penitence and frugal mediocrity, in complete 
aloofness, in constant preparation for the better life, and he 
died a saintly death at the end of some years. Mardchal de 
Vnieroy went to see him sometimes, in spite of his own 
wishes, and always came away charmed, though he some- 
times met with short but well-placed moral observations, 
which perhaps he was not in search of. 

1 The Marquis d'Argenson [son of the Keeper of the Seals] reports the 
same fact in his manuscript Memoirs : " I forgot to say that the Abbe de 
Vittement said to his friends to whom he confided this secret, that if he 
survived the cardinal he would tell what was that indissoluble bond be- 
tween the king and Cardinal Fleury." (Note by the French editor.) 


Law was doing wonders with his Mississippi. They had 
made a sort of language to suit their manipulations and 
The wonders of facilitate their management, which I shall not 
ississippi. undertake to explain any more than his other 
financial operations. It was who should have Mississippi. 
Immense fortunes were made by it, almost at a stroke. Law, 
besieged by supphants and aspirants, saw his door forced, his 
windows entered from the garden, while some of them came 
tumbhng down the chimney of his cabinet. People talked 
in millions. Law, who, as I have said, came to me every 
Tuesday between eleven and twelve o'clock, had often urged 
me to accept some shares in it without their costing me 
anything; offering to manage the matter without my med- 
dling in it, and to make it bring me m several millions. 
So many persons of all conditions had made fortunes by 
their own management, that there was no doubt Law could 
have made me gain more, and even more rapidly; but I 
would never lend myself to the scheme. Law then ad- 
dressed Mme. de Saint-Simon, who was equally inflexible. 
Enriching for enriching, he would rather have enriched me 
than many others, and by that interest have bound to him 
a man in my situation with the regent. He spoke to the 
latter, asking him to try and overcome me by his authority. 
The regent began to speak of it more than once, but I 
evaded him. 

At last, one day when he had given me a rendezvous at 
Saint-Cloud, where he went to work and to walk afterwards. 

260 MEMOmS or the dug DE SAINT-SIMON. [chap. IX. 

being both of us seated on the bahistrade of the orangery 
which overlooks the descent into the Goulotte woods, he 
Law and the spokc to me again of the Mississippi, and 
Z^^^L'^J^L'^IL^ urged me to receive some from Law : the more 

m vain to accept o ' 

s°™^- I resisted, the more he urged, and the more he 

branched out into arguments. At last he grew angry ; and 
said it was too vainglorious to refuse what the king wanted 
to give me, for he was acting for him, and that other people 
of my rank and dignity would run after it. I told him that 
such feehngs would be those of a fool and an impudent per- 
son, instead of a vainglorious one, as he said, and they were 
not mine ; and since he pressed me so much I would tell 
him my reasons, which were : that since the days of King 
]\Iidas I had never heard of and still less seen any one who 
had the faculty of turning into gold whatever he touched ; 
that I did not beHeve that virtue was given to Law, but I 
thought his scheme was a clever game, a skilful and novel 
trick of legerdemain, which put the property of Peter into 
the pocket of John, which enriched some at the cost of 
others ; and that sooner or later the thing would dry up, the 
game would be exposed, an infinite number of persons ruined, 
restitutions would be difficult if not impossible, especially 
restitution of gains of this kind ; and, finally, that I abhorred 
having to do with the property of others, and for nothing on 
earth would I burden myself with it, even indirectly. 

The Due d'OrMans did not know how to answer that, but 
still, displeased and persistent, he came back to his idea of 
I refuse ; but rcfusing the benefits of the king. Impatience 
accept payment happily laid hoM of me ; I told him I was so 

ofan old debt. ^^ ■^ ' 

far from any such folly that I would make 
him a proposal, which I should never have mentioned but 
for what he had said, and which, in fact, only came into my 
head at the moment. I explained to him the expenses that 


had ruined my father for the defence of Blaye against the 
forces of the Prince de Cond^, who had besieged the place 
eighteen months. My father had paid the gamson, fur- 
nished the rations, ammunitioned the place, cast cannon, 
and supported five hundred gentlemen whom he had col- 
lected ; besides other expenses incurred to save the place to 
the king, — all drawn from his own means and not from the 
country. After the troubles were over, five hundred thou- 
sand francs of written orders for payment were sent to him, 
on which he never received a sou, for M. Fouquet was ar- 
rested just before he was about to begin to pay them off". I 
told the Due d'OrMans that if he chose to make up the loss 
of that sum, a loss my father and I had borne so long a 
time for services so essential rendered to the king (not to 
speak of the interest due for so many years), it would be a 
justice which I could take with a good grace, and would 
accept with much gratitude ; returning to him the written 
orders as they were paid off, to be burned in his presence. 
The Due d'0rl(5ans was very willing, and spoke of it the 
next day to Law, My notes and orders were, little by little, 
burned up in the regent's cabinet ; and that is what has paid 
for the improvements I have made at La Fertd. 

Parliament, more irritated than subdued by the lit de jus- 
tice at the Tuileries, had now recovered from its first bewil- 
Absurd but per- dcrmeut ; it was very natural and perfectly 

sistdit theories 

of parliament as consistcut that it should uot Only think itsclf 
to its power. j^q^ bouud to regard what had been done at 

the lit de justice in spite of its remonstrances, but that it 
should claim the right to act in a manner diametrically 
opposed to the tenor of the decrees then passed. This is 
what parliament now did, step by step, with all possible 
firmness and continuity, and as much circumspection as 
would insure the carrying out of its intentions, by opposing 


all the registrations necessary to the various operations of 
Law. The Due d'Orleans was accurately informed and 
greatly annoyed at this conduct, and Law was extremely 
embarrassed ; he had many manoeuvres and operations on 
hand which required a submissive parliament, and he had 
to do with a regent who disliked strong measures and who 
seemed quite exhausted with the one to which he had lately 
been compelled to have recourse. In tliis perplexity Law 
Law proposes a imagined a way to cut the Gordian knot. His 
scheme to hold ^^g ^j^^^^ ^^ -^.^ i^^j^ggt mark : the ardour 

parhament in ■■■ ■'^ ° ' 

check. of Frenchmen was for it ; there were few per- 

sons, in comparison with the many, who did not prefer the 
paper to specie. He therefore proposed to the regent to 
refund with this paper, by agreement or force, all the costs 
of parliament, and defend the step towards the public on 
the ground of removing the venality of the offices, which led 
to such great abuses, by putting them all in the hands of 
the king to dispose of gratuitously (as they were before they 
became venal) ; thus making him master of parhament by 
granting simple commissions to hold the offices from one 
vacation to another, to be continued or changed at each term 
of parhament at the king's good pleasure. 

A scheme so advantageous, without drawing a purse- 
string, dazzled the regent. The Due de La Force sup- 
ported the idea in concert w4th Dubois, who did not wish 
to appear too much, but was making others act, and, in 
fear of reverses, was keeping beliind the tapestry, whence 
he directed his emissaries. Dubois saw his own benefit 
in this reimbursement, full as he was of being master of 
the kingdom under the regent's name. Nevertheless, he 
felt the risks of the transition, and did not choose to 
commit himself. Law had never opened his hps to me 
in any way that could make me surmise this project; 


and I have reason to think, though nothing of the kind 
was evident, that they dared not risk an examination on 
my part, but hoped to take me unawares, in what they 
imagined to be my hatred and my interests, by the prop- 
osition which the regent was to make to me, and thus 
inveigle me into an approbation to which impetus could 
afterwards be imparted. I have always leaned to the be- 
lief that it was this idea that led the Due d'Orldans to 
consult me on the matter. They knew me to be the man 
of all the world who bore most impatiently all pretensions 
and enterprises against the royal authority, and who, from 
attachment to my rank and dignity, was always most 
openly and pubhcly exasperated by the usurpations of 

However that may be, one afternoon when I was work- 

incr as usual, tete-a-tete with the Due d'Orl^ans, he began 

to talk about parliament without anything 

I prevent the ^ . 

regent from giviug rise to it, explaining the shackles it 

a opting It. ^^^ upon him, the small account it made, 

publicly, of the lit de justice of the Tuileries, the little fruit 
he had gained from that step ; and then, all of a sudden, 
he proposed the above expedient, pullmg from his pocket 
a well-reasoned paper on the scheme, of which I had never 
heard one word till that moment. I entered into all Ids 
complaints of the conduct of parliament and agreed with 
his reasons for compelling it to its duty in regard to the 
royal authority ; but T added at once that, as for the proj- 
ect, it seemed to me, at a first view of it, very unjust on 
one side and very daring on the other; and it was not, I 
thought, a matter to be decided on without mature dehb- 
eration, and after considering and weighing the important 
and wide-spreading consequences. He would not let me 
say more, and insisted on reading the document straight 


through without interruption, in spite of his bad eyesight, 
and then a second time, stopping and arguing upon it. 

This second reading confirmed me in the aversion I felt 
to the scheme, and I said so and argued against it; but 
the regent, delighted and already earned away with it, was 
not pleased with my resistance. Seeing him so biased and 
refolding the paper to put it m his pocket, I felt all the 
danger into which they were going to plunge him. I 
begcred him to let me have the memorandum and take it 
home to consider it at my ease. He consented on condi- 
tion that no one should see it but myself, and he exacted 
a promise that I would bring it back the day but one 
following, and refused to allow me a longer time. I kept 
my word, and more too ; for I wrote with my own hand 
so strong an answ^er (which I read to the Due d'Orleans) 
that he became convinced the project was a dangerous 
chimera. Those who had made and counselled it found 
him so armed against their reasons that they had nothing 
to reply, and kept silence, — but not for long. The scheme 
was too dear to Law and to Dubois to be abandoned : to 
Dubois, as removing all sorts of present and future ob- 
stacles to the establishment and preservation of his omni- 
potence ; to Law for his own support in liis tremendous 
output of paper, of which he felt from afar all the burden 
in spite of the great vogue in which he then was. We 
shall see that the following year was spent in struggles 
between the government and the parliament. Those strug- 
gles gave the promoters of the abandoned scheme a chance 
to resuscitate it ; none of them ever mentioned it to me, 
except Law, who once or twice expressed a few regrets for 
such a fine stroke wasted. 

Money was in such abundance — that is to say, Law's 
bank-notes, which people then preferred to specie — that 


four millious were* paid to the Elector of Bavaria, and 

three millions to Sweden, mostly old debts. Soon after, the 

recjent gave eighty thousand francs to Meuse, 

The madness of o o a J > 

the Mississippi ; and eight hundred thousand francs to Mme. 

Chateauthiers, lady of the Bedchamber to 
the Duchesse d'Orldans, who had loved him for many years. 
The business of the shares in the Company of the Indies 
[or West] commonly called " The Mississippi," established 
for the last few months in the rue Quincampoix, from which 
horses and carriages were excluded, had now increased so 
enormously that persons rushed there all day long, and it 
was necessary to place guards at each end of the street, 
with drums and bells to give warning when business 
opened at seven o'clock in the morning and when it closed 
at night ; and also to prevent a crowd from assembling 
there on Sundays and fete-days. Never was folly and mad- 
ness like it. The regent made a great distribution of these 
shares amc.;^. ^he general and staff officers, according to 

grades, who were employed in the war against 

Diminution of ° _ -^ "^ '^ 

specie, and Spain. Shortly after, the treasury began to 

recomage. diminish specie month by month at three reg- 

ular intervals, and next came a general recoinage of it. 

Law's bank as well as his Mississippi were now at their 
highest point. Confidence was unbounded. People rushed 
Law desires to to change houses and lands for paper, and 
iic!^°Hls^ron^-^°' ^^is paper caused the commonest articles to 
verters. become of cuormous price. All heads were 

turned. Foreigners envied our luck and tried in every way 
to obtain a share of it. The English, so able and consum- 
mate in banks, companies, and commerce, were taken in by 
the prospect, and repented themselves later. Law, though 
cool and prudent, felt his modesty fail him. He was tired 
of being a subaltern. He now aimed to be great amid this 


splendour ; and so did Dubois and the regent for Mm ; but 
for this elevation two obstacles would have to be overcome 
in the case of Law: the condition of foreigner, and that of 
heretic. The first could be changed only by naturahzation 
preceded by abjuration. For this a converter was needed 
who would not look too closely into things, and of whom 
they could feel perfectly sure before committing themselves. 
The Abb^ Dubois found him as it were in his pocket. This 
was the Abbe Tencin, whom the devil afterwards helped to 
a most astoundmg fortune ; for true it is that he sometimes 
departs from his usual rule and rewards his own ; by which 
examples he dazzles others and inveigles them. This Abb^ 
Tencin was a priest and a rascal, whose real name was 
Gudrin ; his sister was the mistress of the Abb^ Dubois, 
soon his confidante, and then the directress of many of his 
schemes and secrets. This connection was long concealed ; 
at any rate while Dubois' career had need of caution ; after 
he became archbishop (still more when he was cardinal) she 
was known pubhcly as his mistress, ruled his household 
openly, and held a sort of Court, as if she were the channel 
of all favours and fortune. Meantime she had begun to 
make the fortune of her beloved brother. She presented him 
to her lover, who soon found him a man expressly made to 
second him in all things and to be singularly useful to him. 

Such were the apostles of a proselyte like Law, provided 
for him by the Abb4 Dubois. They already knew each 
other; and this was the state of things when it became a 
question of bringing back into the bosom of the Church a 
Protestant, or an Anglican, — for he scarcely knew what he 
really was. The work was not difficult ; but they had the 
sense to do it and consummate it secretly, so that for some 
time it was a problem ; and thus they saved appearances while 
the instruction was going on, and some part, at least, of the 


scandal and ridicule of such a conversion performed by such 

The Due d'Orldans had informed me about this time of 

the fixed intention of the Duchesse de Berry to declare her 

secret marriage to Eion. I was not surprised 

Determination of ° 

the Duchesse de at the marriage, knowing that mixture of 
her marriage ^"^^ passion and fcar of the devil, but I was ex- 
toRion. tremely astonished at this fury for declaring 

it in a person so superbly haughty and vainglorious. She 
had gone to Meudon, and thence to La Muette, lying in a 
carriage between two sheets. She grew no better ; the pain 
increased at shorter intervals ; fever was always marked and 
sometimes very strong. The fluctuations of hope and fear 
supported her till the beginning of July, but then her 
malady increased so much that on the 14th they began to 
feel serious alarm about her. The night was so restless 
that they sent to rouse the regent at the Palais-Eoyal ; and 
at the same time Mme. de Pons wrote to Mme. de Saint- 
Simon, urging her to come at once and establish herself at 
Mme. de Saint- La Muettc. Slic yielded to this request and 

Simon goes to ^ ^^^^^.^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^-^ ^^^ ^^r^^^ j^ ^^^^ 

her in her last ' " 

illness. while the duchess lived. She found the dan- 

ger great ; one bleeding had been done in the arm on that 
day, July 15, and another in the foot; her confessor, a 
Franciscan, had been sent for. I shall here interrupt the 
course of this illness, which lasted seven days, to give a 
brief coup d'ceil to that princess as a whole, at the risk of 
some slight repetition. 

Mme. la Duchesse de Berry made so much noise in the 

brief space of a very short life that, sad as the matter is, it 

is curious and deserves to be dwelt upon. 

Brief sketch of 

the Duchesse Bom with a supcrior mind, and being, when 
^"^' she chose, equally agreeable and amiable, with 


a figure that was imposing and on which the eye rested 
with pleasure (though injured at the last by too much flesh), 
she talked with singular grace and a natural eloquence which 
was all her own and flowed spontaneously and easily, with 
an appropriateness of language that surprised and charmed. 
What might she not have made of these talents with the 
king and Mme. de Maintenon, who only wished to love her ; 
with the Duchesse de Bourgogne, who had made her marriage 
and regarded her as her very own ; with her father, regent 
of the kingdom, who had eyes for her alone, — if the vices of 
her heart and mind and soul had not turned so many noble 
gifts into dangerous poisons. The most inordinate pride, 
the most persistent falsehood she took for virtues and piqued 
herself upon them ; while irreligion, which she thought 
adorned her mind, made the chmax of all the rest. What 
seemed extraordinary was the amazing contrast between a 
pride that lifted her to the skies and a debauchery which 
led her to sup, not only with people of quahty, but with such 
a man as Pfere Eiglet, Jesuit, a teller of loose stories, and 
other canailles who would never have been admitted into 
decent houses, together with the roues of the Due d'Orldans, 
with him or without him, she herself taking pleasure in 
exciting their indecency and impiety. 

In spite of a depravity so universal and so pubhc, she was 
mdignant that any one dared to speak of it. She declared 
boldly that it was not permitted to talk of persons of her 
rank, not even to blame their pubhc actions, still less what 
they did in private. It was this that irritated her against 
every one, as violating the sacred rights of her person, 
criminally wanting in respect, and undeserving of pardon. 
Her death was a singular spectacle. The long suffering she 
had endured had neither induced her to care for this life by 
following a regimen necessary to her condition, nor to think 


of the life to come, until at last her relations and physi- 
cians were compelled to speak a language to her such as 
princes never hear except in some great extremity. She then 
submitted to remedies both for this world and the next. She 
received the sacraments with open doors and talked to those 
present on her life and state, but as a queen in each. After 
the scene was over, and she was again shut up with her 
intimates, she applauded herself for the firmness she had 
shown and asked them if she had not spoken well, and 
whether she was not dying with grandeur and courage. 

Mme. de Saint-Simon, seemg that the end approached 
and that there was no one at La Muette with whom the 
Mme. de Saint- Duc d'Orlcaus could fccl at liberty, sent me 
Simon sends for ^^^^^^^ ^j^^^ ^j^^ advlscd mc to comc and be 

me. Gnefofthe 

"gent. with him in these sad hours. It seemed to 

me that my arrival did give him pleasure, and that I was 
not useless by reason of the comfort it gave him to pour 
himself freely out to me. He wished me to take entire 
charge of what would have to be done after the Duchesse 
de Berry's death, such as the opening of her body, and all 
the other details which demanded his orders and his decision, 
so that he himself might not be importuned by such agitat- 
ing things ; he wished me not to ask his orders about any- 
thing ; moreover he told the household of the princess that 
he had given nie those orders, and that it was to me that 
they must go for theirs. 

As the evening advanced and the Duchesse de Berry 
became worse, being now without consciousness, her father 
returned to the chamber and stood by the pillow of her bed, 
the curtains of which were open. I did not leave him there 
long, but pushed him gently into the cabinet, where there 
was no one. The windows were open ; he leaned on the iron 
baluster and his sobs redoubled so much that I feared he 


would suffocate. Wlien this violent attack was over he 
began to talk to me of the miseries of this world and the 
little duration of what is most pleasurable. I took occasion 
to say to him what God gave me to say, with all the gentle- 
ness, unction, and tenderness that was possible to me. Not 
only did he receive well what I said, but he answered it and 
continued the conversation. After we had been there about 
an hour Mme. de Saint-Simon sent me softly word that it 
was time that I should try to send the Due d'Orleans away, 
as the only way to leave the cabinet was through the 
chamber. His carriage was ready, for Mme. de Saint-Simon 
had been thoughtful enough to send for it. It was not with- 
out difficulty that I could tear him away, plunged as he 
was in the bitterest grief. I made him cross the chamber 
swiftly, and entreated him to return to Paris. That was 
another difficulty to overcome ; but in the end he yielded. 

The Duchesse de Berry died at midnight on the 21st of 
July. Afflicted as the Due d'Orldans was, comfort was not 
Death ofthe loug in comiug. The yoke under which she 
Duchesse de j^^d licld him, and which he had often found so 


hea"v^, was broken. Especially was he relieved 
of the horror of declaring her marriage to Rion and all its 
consequences, — an embarrassment all the greater because on 
opening her body the poor princess was found to be pregnant ; 
a derangement was also found in the brain. All this prom- 
ised great future troubles, which were smothered by her 

Mme. de Saint-Simon, who, as we have seen in its place, 
was forced, and I too, to consent that she should be lady of 
lUnessofMme houour to the Duchesse de Berry, had not been 
de Saint-Simon, ^ijie at any time to find the moment when 
she could properly quit that office. Every sort of considera- 
tion was shown her, every liberty accorded to her; but 


nothing could console her for occupying that post, so that 
she felt the relief, not to say the satisfaction, of a deliverance 
she had little expected from a princess only twenty-four 
years old. But the extreme fatigue of the last days of the 
illness and of those which succeeded the death, caused her 
a malignant fever, of which she was six weeks at the point 
of death in a country-house which Fontanieu had lent her 
at Passy to take the waters at Forges and to rest. She was 
two months in recovering. This accident, which almost 
drove me out of my mind, kept me from the knowledge of 
everything for two months, during which I never left that 
house, scarcely her chamber, hearing nothing and seeing 
none but a few indispensable friends. When she began 
to recover I asked the Due d'Orl^ans for lodgings in the 
new chateau at Meudon. He lent me the whole chateau 
all furnished. We passed the rest of the summer there, 
and several other summers. It is a charming spot for walks 
and drives. We expected to see only our intimate friends ; 
but its proximity to Paris overwhelmed us with company, 
so that the new chateau was often full of lodgers, not to 
speak of passing visitors. 

The Due d'0rl4ans paid the king a charming compliment, 

well-suited to his years, by proposing that he should use 

La Muette for his amusements, and go out 

La Muette given . 

to the king for thcrc and have collations. The kmg was en- 
his amusements. ^-^^^^^^ jj^ thought he was rcaUy having 

something of his own; and he took deliglit in going there 
and eating bread and milk and fruit and vegetables, and 
amusing himself with all that diverts a boy of his age. The 
place in changing masters changed also its governor. The 
Due d'Humi^res spoke to me in behalf of Pez(5. I obtained 
the post for him, and he knew how to manage the place in 
a way to make it more and more agreeable to the king. 


We have now readied a very curious and interesting 
epoch. What a pity that the ever-imposing and exacting 
influence of the Abb^ Dubois over the Due d'Orl^ans did 
not permit the latter to place his usual confidence in those 
who were most faithfully attached to him i This misfortune 
will deprive these ]\Iemoirs of a great deal of curious 
information. I will not and I cannot write down anything 
that did not either pass before my own eyes, or that I did 
not hear from those who were concerned in it. I prefer to 
frankly own my ignorance rather than risk conjectures 
which are often little other than romances ; I shall often 
be reduced to that dilemma, and I would rather have the 
shame of owning it in the remainder of these Memoirs than 
create fictions and mislead my readers, — should these 
Memoirs ever see the h^ht. 

Working one day as usual with the regent towards the 
close of this year, he interrupted me soon after we had be- 
The regent guu by making complaints of the Mardchal 

me'golem^r^of ^^ Villcroy. Hc oftcu did so, but on this 
the king. occasiou, getting more and more excited, he 

suddenly rose and said it was not to be endured any longer, 
— that was his expression, — and he wished to turn him out 
at once and make me governor to the king. My surprise 
was great, but I did not lose my judgment. I smiled and 
rephed gently that he could not really think of it. "I 
think of it very much," he replied ; " so much that I intend 
it shall be done, and I shall not delay doing what ought to 
have been done long ago. What have you to say against 
it ? " With that he began to walk, or rather to twirl, about 
the room. I asked him if he had maturely reflected on it. 
Thereupon he dehvered himself of all his reasons for remov- 
ing the mar^chal and those for putting me in his place, 
which latter were too flattering to repeat here. I let him 

i^tlie ae l^ ciu Payj- J^tannour , — 
jd'St^, ^t /ait JWarecncti r/c /"'rarir/' /»/; //>y 

otjj, Goiiue**nt'ui' /jott*' le I^oy. c/a let 

',/. 'LK 



say as much as he wished, and then I talked in my turn, 
without allowing him to interrupt me. I agreed to all he 
said of the Mar^chal de Yilleroy, because there was no dis- 
agreeing with any of his complaints, his reasons, and his 
deductions ; but I stoutly opposed his removing him. I re- 
minded the regent of all the reasons I had formerly given 
him against taking the superintendence of the king's educa- 
tion from the Due du Maine, which he himself had thought 
sound and good, and was only prevented from following by 
the persistent persecution of M. le Due. I told him that 
the Mar^chal de Villeroy was only what he himself made 
him, and what any one else with so much gas and self-con- 
ceit and so little mind and common-sense would inevitably 
be ; that he had spoiled him, and the mardchal was simply 
taking advantage of it ; that every one in public and in pri- 
vate was astonished to see how he awed him with that air 
of martial superiority, as if he were still a youth in the days 
of Monsieur ; and he ought therefore not to be surprised at 
the advantage the mardchal took of it. I told him he had 
only to change this singular and dangerous conduct and 
keep firmly to the change, and he would see that Villeroy 
would fancy himself lost, and tremble, cringe, and grow sup- 
ple and respectful ; whereas, if he turned him out, he would 
make him a public martyr, the idol of parliament, the peo- 
ple, and the provinces, to a point that would make him, if 
not dangerous, at least embarrassing. 

Shaken, but not driven from his intention, the regent tried 

to weaken me by increasing the temptation of the post of 

governor, and by overwhelming me with what 

I dissuade him. . . 

he said about it. I expressed my gratitude, 
like a man who felt very deeply the value of the appoint- 
ment and the seasoning he gave to it, but whom it did not 
dazzle. I reminded him that he ought never to appouit as 

VOL. IV. 18 


governor, or to any other post about the king, any person 
who was particularly attached to himself, lest the monarch 
should die young without posterity, — in view of his having 
been so cruelly, iniquitously, and universally accused of 
many recent horrors ; and this . argument, so strong and 
real, resulting from the perverse nature of things, made me 
the last man in the world on whom the choice ought to 
fall, as well as the most radically excluded by nature ; so that 
I believed I should be doing him a bad and most dangerous 
service by accepting his offer. We argued the same things 
over and over ; and the conversation ended by the regent 
saying that we would talk of the matter again. To which 
I replied that, as for me, it was settled now, and that very 
certainly I would not be governor to the king ; and as for 
Mar^chal de Villeroy, he ought to be careful against the 
influence of others and his own inclinations, and not be led 
into such a blunder. We said no more then ; he spoke of 
it two or three times later, but always more feebly, until he 
ended by agreeing with me not to think of it again, and to 
treat the mardchal as I advised him to do. But this he 
never had the strength to attempt. He treated him as usual, 
and the mar^chal, consequently, went on assuming an inso- 
lent air to him. I was provoked, but I did not dare to say 
anything, lest I should bring the regent back to the desire 
to get rid of him. 

The disorder of the finances was increasing daily, also the 
squabbles between d'Argenson and Law, each of whom was 

now complaining of the other. Matters had 
1720. ^ ^ 

Confusion in the finally comc to such a pass that it was neces- 
irTadTcontrourr- sary that one of the two should yield to the 
general. othcr an administration in which their rivalry 

was creating the utmost confusion. Whatever intimacy might 
exist between d'Argenson and Dubois, who had so far failed 


to make Law and d'Argenson agree, the prospect of his car- 
dinalate, and the necessity of having plenty of money to 
spend upon it, did not allow Dubois to hesitate in this ex- 
tremity as to whose side he should take. Law's conversion 
had an object which it was now high time to attain. D'Ar- 
genson, seeing the storm approach, felt he was in a fragile 
place, and determined to save himself. He had too much 
sense and knowledge of the world and of those with whom 
he had to do not to feel that if he clung to the finances they 
would drag from him the office of Keeper of the Seals. He 
therefore yielded to Law, who was immediately appointed 
controller-general of the finances, and who, in that position 
of singular elevation for him, continued to come and see me 
every Tuesday morning, endeavouring always to convince me 
about his miracles, past and to come. D'Argenson contin- 
ued to be Keeper of the Seals. The pubhc murmured 
greatly on seeing a foreigner controller-general, and all 
France delivered over to a system wliich was now begia- 
nincr to be distrusted. But Frenchmen accustom themselves 
to everythiQg, and many were consoled by getting rid of 
d'Argenson's fantastic hours of work and crabbed temper. 
The Due d'Orldans had told me in advance what he was 
about to do, but he did not consult me. The Ahh6 Dubois 
had by this time completely invaded him; and I avoided 
putting myself forward about anything. 

But Law's system was drawing to an end. If they had 
been content with his bank, and his bank reduced to wise 
Insecurity of and equitable limits, the money of the king- 
Law's system ^^^^ micrlit have been doubled and great f acil- 

and bank ; it be- * " 

comes apparent, ity introduced into the country's commerce 
and into that of private persons with one another ; because, 
if the bank were able always to face its liabiUties, its notes, 
being continually payable at their full value, would have 


been ready money, and often preferable to coin through con- 
venience of transportation. But it must be admitted, as 
I maintained to the regent in his cabinet, and said boldly 
to the Council of Eegency, when the bank project passed, 
that, good as this system might be in itself, it could only 
be good in a republic, or a monarchy like that of England, 
where the finances are arbitrarily governed solely by those 
who furnish them and who furnish only so much and as 
it pleases them. But in a State so volatile and changeable 
rather than arbitrary as that of France, stability is, neces- 
sarily, lacking ; consequently also a firm and judicious con- 
fidence, — inasmuch as a king, and under him a mistress, a 
minister, favourites, or extreme necessity (such as that the 
late king met with in the years from 1707 to 1710), a 
hundred things, in short, might bankrupt the bank, the 
temptations of which would be too great and at the same 
time too easy. But when to what was real in this bank- 
ing system they added the chimera of the Mississippi, its 
shares, its lingo, its science, that is to say, its hocus-pocus 
for taking money from some and giving it to others, it 
would surely result — inasmuch as they had neither mines 
nor the philosopher's stone — in those shares proving worth- 
less, and in a very few persons being enriched by the ruin 
of the greater number. And this is what actually happened. 
The overthrow of the bank and the system was hastened 
by the inconceivable prodigality of the regent, who, with- 
. ^, out limit, and even, if that could be, without 


prodigality of selectiou, was uuable to resist importunity, but 
gave with both hands, and often to persons 
who scoffed at his act and gave thanks only to their own 
effrontery. It is difficult to believe what one actually saw ; 
posterity will consider as a fable what we ourselves re- 
member now as a dream. So much was given away to a 


greedy and prodigal community, always grasping, always 
necessitous through its luxury, its licentiousness, its con- 
fusion of positions, that paper lacked, the mills could not 
furnish enough. From that fact may be inferred the un- 
imaginable abuse of what was established originally as a 
resource always ready, but which could only exist as such 
by balancing the two ends, and reserving enough coin to 
answer instantly to all demands. This is what I questioned 
Law about every Tuesday morning. He put me of!" with 
specious words for a long time before he owned to me his 
embarrassments, and modestly and timidly complained that 
the regent was throwing everything out of windows. I 
knew from the outside more than he thought, and it was 
that knowledge that made me press him so insistently on 
the state of his schedule. When admitting at last, though 
faintly, what he could not conceal, he assured me that, 
provided the regent left him free to act, he was not lacking 
in resources. That did not convince me. 

The bank-notes were already beginning to depreciate, 
soon after to lose credit, and then their discredit became 
Grievous and general. Hence the necessity of forcibly main- 
mfinite results, taiuing tlicm, iuasmuch as this could no longer 
be done by their own value ; and the moment force was 
shown, every man despaired of his safety. They came at 
last to coercive authority ; they suppressed the use of 
gold, silver (I mean coined money), and precious stones ; 
and they tried to convince the nation that from the days 
when Abraham paid four hundred shekels of silver, cur- 
rent coin, for Sarah's sepulchre to the present day, the 
wisest nations of the earth had been under the grossest 
error and delusion as to money and the metals of which it 
was made ; that paper was the only profitable and necessary 
medium, and that we could not do a greater harm to for- 


eign nations, jealous of our grandeur and our advantages, 
than to pass over all our silver and gold and precious stones 
to them. But no one was convinced of this, for the reason 
that permission was given to the Company of the Indies 
to inspect all houses, even those of royalty, and confiscate 
the louis d'ors and ecus that were found there, leaving 
only twenty-sous pieces and under; and of those only 
enough to make change for notes and purchase the smallest 
commodities. All this with heavy pains and penalties if 
more were kept back, so that all such property had to be 
taken to the bank, lest the valets of the households should 
denounce its retention. Hence a recourse to more and more 
authority, which opened all houses to visits and inquisitions, 
to make svire that no money was concealed, while severe 
punishments were given to those who reserved any. Never 
was sovereign power so violently attempted ; never did it 
meddle with any matter so sensitively felt or so vitally 
connected with the temporal well-being of the community. 
It was a marvel, and not the effect of any care or conduct 
on the part of the government, that not only ordinances so 
terribly novel did not produce the saddest and most com- 
plete revolution, but that there was never any question 
of one, and that so many millions of people, absolutely 
ruined or dying of hunger or want beside their own prop- 
erty without any means of obtaining it for their daily 
subsistence, should have uttered nothing but plaints and 

Such violence, however, was too excessive, too indefensible 
in various ways, to continue long ; it was necessary to issue 
new paper and to invent fresh tricks of legerdemain, which 
were known to be such and felt to be such, but to which 
people submitted rather than not have twenty crowns in 
safety in their own homes. Hence came endless manceuvres^ 


endless different aspects given to the finances, all aiming 
to take up one kind of paper by another, — in other words 
making the holders of these different papers lose in turn, 
they bemg holders by force and the bulk of the people. 
This is what, in the matter of finance, occupied all the rest 
of the regent's hfe and government, drove Law from the 
kingdom, increased the cost of all merchandise, all pro- 
visions, even the commonest, sixfold, caused a ruinous 
increase of all kinds of salaries, destroyed commerce, both 
general and private, made, at the cost of the public, the sud- 
den wealth of a few seigneurs, who wasted it and were all 
the poorer in a very short time, gave monstrous fortimes 
to the employes and middlemen and clerks of the finan- 
ciers who got their profit quickly and shrewdly out of the 
Mississippi. This is what still occupies the government 
long after the death of the Due d'Orldans ; from it France 
will never entirely rise, though it is true that landed prop- 
erty has considerably increased in value. 

Meantime, by dint of turning and twisting the Mississippi 

in every direction, that is to say, juggling the balls under 

,. . that name, the idea came to them to follow 

Forced levies 

to people the the cxamplc of Englishmen and make actual 

settlements in those vast regions. To people 
them they made forced levies in Paris and all over the 
country of vagrants and able-bodied beggars, both men and 
women, and quantities of public creatures. If this had been 
done with wisdom, discernment, and necessary caution, the 
object they proposed would have been accomplished, and 
Paris and the provinces relieved of a heavy, useless, and 
sometimes dangerous burthen ; but they undertook it in 
Paris with such violence and so much trickery in seizing 
whom they chose, that great disapprobation was excited. 
Not the slightest pains was taken to provide for the subsist- 


ence of these unfortunates on their journey, or at the places 
where they disembarked ; they were shut up at night in 
barns without food, or in cellars from which they could not 
issue. Their cries excited both pity and indignation; but 
charity could not suffice to eke out the little their conductors 
allowed them, so that a frightful number of them died on 
the way. This inhumanity, added to the cruelty of the con- 
ductors, and the violent and rascally abduction of persons 
who were not of the class prescribed, but whom certain per- 
sons had an interest in getting rid of by saying a word in 
the ear and putting money in the hand of those who made 
the levies, caused so much indignation, expressed in terms 
and tones so forcible, that it was plainly seen the thing could 
not be carried on. Some companies had embarked ; others, 
who had not yet started, were set free and allowed to go 
where they pleased, and the levies were abandoned. Law, 
regarded as the author of these abductions, became odious, 
and the Due d'Orl^ans had reason to repent that he allowed 
himself to be dragged into permitting them. 

Extreme folly on one side, and immense cupidity on the 

other led, about this time, to the strangest marriage-contract 

that perhaps was ever seen. As a specimen 

A marriage con- ^ ^ ^ 

tract produced by of much that Law's systcm produced in France, 

Law's system. . ^ , • i i * 

it deserves to be mentioned here. Any one 
who could and who would relate the incredible bargains, the 
transmutation of paper, the construction of fortunes, their 
immensity, still more their inconceivable rapidity, and the 
sudden fall of most of them through luxury and mad ex- 
travagance, the ruin of the rest of the kingdom, the deep 
wounds it received from which it will never recover, — any 
one, I say, who could relate all this would make a most curi- 
ous and amusing history, but at the same time the most 
horrible and monstrous ever known. Here, then, among 


other extraordinary things, is the marriage of which I speak. 
The contract was drawn and signed between the Marquis 
d'Oyse, thirty-three years old, son and younger brother of 
the Dues de Villars-Brancas, and the daughter of d'Andrfes, 
a famous Mississippian, who had made mounds of gold out 
of that affair; the giii was only three years old, and the 
agreement was to celebrate the marriage when she was 
twelve. The terms of the contract were six hundred thou- 
sand francs paid at once, twenty thousand francs a year 
till the day of the marriage, an enormous property of mil- 
lions when that day came, with profuse presentations mean- 
while to the Dues de Brancas, father and son. Eemarks 
were not wanting on this fine marriage. What will not 
auri sacra fames lead men to do ? But the whole scheme 
miscarried before the cooking of the future wife, by Law's 
overthrow. The Brancas, who expected it, had got their 
pay well in advance, though the affair produced a lawsuit 
about fifteen years later, which they defended without shame, 
— but the Brancas were not subject to that. 

The archbishopric of Cambrai became vacant through the 

death in Kome of Cardinal de la Trdmoille, that is to say, the 

richest see and one of the grandest posts in 

How the Abbe _ ° ^ 

Dubois made Fraucc. The Abb^ Dubois was only tonsured ; 
bishop of one hundred and fifty thousand francs a year 

Cambrai. tcmptcd him, and perhaps this rise might lift 

him more easily to the cardinalate. Impudent as he was, 
and great as was the empire he had assumed over his master, 
he was much embarrassed how to make his request. So, 
masking his effrontery slyly, he said to the regent that he 
had dreamed a pleasant dream, namely, that he had just 
been made the Archbishop of Cambrai. The regent, who felt 
to what this tended, turned on his heel and made no answer. 
Dubois, more and more embarrassed, stuttered and para- 


phrased his dream; then, rousing himself to the efibrt, he 
abruptly asked why he could not have it, as his Eoyal 
Highness had only to will it to make his fortune. The Due 
d'Orleans was indignant, even shocked, little scrupulous as 
he was in the making of bishops, and he answered, in a tone 
of contempt, " What ! you [^oi]. Archbishop of Cambrai ? " 
— making him feel his baseness and the scandal of his hfe. 
Dubois had gone too far to stop on so fine a road, and cited 
him various examples. Unfortunately there were but too 
many, in baseness, ignorance, and low morality, — thanks to 
P^re TeUier and the Unigenitus. 

The Due d'Orleans, less moved by such bad reasons than 
embarrassed how to escape the importunity of a man to 
whom he was now accustomed to deny nothing, tried to get 
out of the affair by saying : " But you are damnable ; and 
where is the other damned fellow who would consecrate 
you ? " " Oh ! if that is all," said the abb^, hastily, " the 
thing is done. I know very well who will consecrate me ; 
he is not far from here." " Who the devil is he ? " asked the 
regent. " Who would dare to consecrate you ? " " Do you 
want to know ? " replied the abb^ ; " does it only depend 
on that ? " " Who is it ? " said the regent. " Your chief al- 
moner," repHed Dubois. " He is outside, and he will ask 
nothing better ; I '11 go and tell liim ; " and with that he 
clasped the knees of the regent, who stood thunderstruck 
without strength to refuse. Whereupon the abbd went out, 
pulled the Bishop of Xantes aside, told him he had Cambrai, 
asked him to consecrate him, obtained an instant promise, 
returned caracoling, told the regent he had arranged with his 
almoner for the consecration, thanked him, lauded him, ad- 
mired him, and sealed the affair by assuming it as settled and 
forcing the regent, who dared not say no, — that is how Dubois 
made himself Archbishop of Cambrai. The extreme scandal 


of this appointment made a very great talk. Impudent as 
Dubois was, he was much embarrassed by it ; and the Due 
d'Orl^ans was so ashamed that scarcely any one ever men- 
tioned the matter in his presence. 

On the day when Dubois took all the orders at once the 
Council of Kegency was held in the old Louvre, because the 
The Prince de mcaslcs wcre raging in the Palais-Eoyal, and 
conti attacks ^j^g rcgcut would uot go to the Tuileries. The 

Dubois. His '-' ° 

consecration. mcmbcrs had all arrived, the regent also, and 
were standing scattered about the council-room. I was in a 
corner at the lower end, talking with the Prince de Conti, 
Mar^chal Tallard, and another, whose name I forget, when I 
saw the Abbe .Dubois enter, in a short coat and with his 
usual manner. We did not expect him on such a day, so 
that we naturally exclaimed on seeing him. This made him 
turn his head ; on which the Prince de Conti went up to him 
with his father's own sneer (though it was far from having 
his father's grace, and was in fact cynical), spoke of his sur- 
prise at seeing the abb^ there, after taking so abruptly all 
the orders at once, and proceeded to make him a ranting 
speech full of wit and malignancy in the form of a sermon, 
which would certainly have disconcerted any other. Dubois, 
unable to get in a single word, let him talk, and then an- 
swered coldly that if he were better informed about anti- 
quity he would not find what seemed to surprise him so 
very strange, because he, the abb^, had only followed the 
example of Saint Ambroise, whose ordination he began to 
relate. I did not hear the tale, for as soon as I heard Saint 
Ambroise mentioned I fled to the other end of the room, in 
horror at the comparison and in fear lest I should tell him 
to be silent. His impious citation of Saint Ambroise went 
the rounds of society, with the effect that can easily be 
imagined. The Val-de-Grace was chosen for the consecration, 


as being a royal monastery, the most magnificent in Paris, 
and its church the most remarkable. The building was 
superbly decorated; all France was imdted; no one dared 
risk not appearing and remaining throughout the whole 
ceremony. Galleries with screens were put up for the for- 
eign ambassadors and Protestant ministers. There was a 
gallery of great magnificence for the Due d'OrMans and the 
Due de Chartres, whom he took with him. The Due d'Or- 
l^ans entered from the monastery, and his gallery was open 
to every one and was filled with refreshments of every kind, 
which were distributed by the officers in profusion. The 
Due d'Orl^ans gave the new archbishop a diamond of great 
value for his ring. The whole day was given up to a sort of 
triumph which drew upon it neither the approbation of man 
nor the blessing of God. I saw nothing of it ; and never 
did the Due d'Orldans and I speak of it. 

The 22nd of May of this year became celebrated by the 
issuing of an edict from the council of State concerning the 
Edict of the shares of the Company of the Indies (the 

council of state ; Mississippi) and the notes of Law's bank. 

which reveals the 

condition of the This cdict diminished by degrees, and month 
nances. -^^^ mouth, the value of the shares and notes, 

so that by the end of the year they would be found to have 
depreciated to half their value. This is called, in affairs of 
finance and bankruptcy, showing tail ; and this decree showed 
it so openly that the public thought all was lost more utterly 
than it really was, because it was not even a remedy for im- 
pending misfortunes. The uproar was general and frightful. 
Every rich man thought he was ruined beyond redemption ; 
every poor one believed himself reduced to mendicity. The 
parliament, inimical to the system by its o^\^l system, was 
careful not to lose so fine an occasion. It made itself the 
protector of the pubhc by refusing to enregister the edict 


and by prompt and strong remonstrance. The public believed 
it owed to the parliament the sudden revocation of the 
edict, whereas it was really made in consequence of the uni- 
versal groans and the tardy discovery of the fault committed. 
But this revocation merely showed a vain repentance for 
having made manifest the internal condition of Law's opera- 
tions without producing a cure. The little confidence that 
remained was before long radically extinguished, and could 
never afterwards be revived. 

In this state of things it was necessary to make Law a 

scapegoat. The regent played the comedy of not seeing 

him when he came by the usual door, and 

Edict revoked ; 

which leads to sccing him the following morning by the 

the ruin of Law. ,, -r\i' ^ t ^ • i • ^ • 

back way. Dubois, absorbed m his ecclesias- 
tical fortune, which was now advancing towards him with 
rapid strides, had been duped by the edict and dared not 
support Law against all the world. He contented himself 
by remaining a neutral and useless friend, of whom Law 
did not dare to complain. Dubois himself was careful not 
to quarrel with a man from whom he had drawn such 
enormous sums, and who, if rendered hopeless, might tell 
of it; but also he was cautious not to protect him openly 
against a whole public at bay and exasperated. AU this 
kept Law suspended, as it w^ere, by the hair, having his 
footing nowhere, without credit or dependence, until, as 
we shall presently see, he was forced to yield and again 
seek other lands. ]\Ieantime the agency of the company 
was removed from the rue Quincampoix to the Place 
VendCme, where it had more space and did not obstruct 
the streets. Those who lived in the Place Vendome did 
not find it so agreeable. The king abandoned to the bank 
the shares for one hundred millions that he held. 

The above-named decree was given and retracted during a 


short vacation of the Council of Eegency wliich I spent at 
La Fertd. The evening before my departure I went to take 
leave of the Due d'Orleans, whom I found in the little gal- 
lery with very few persons present. He took me aside with 
the Mar^chal d'Estr^es and one or two others, and told us of 
the decree on which he had determined. I told him that, 
although I knew little of finance, this step seemed to me 
Yery hazardous ; that the public would never quietly see 
itself mulcted of half its property, more especially as it 
would feel no safety for the rest; that there was no sort 
of bad remedy that was not better tlian this, of which he 
would surely repent. It has been seen, in various places 
in these Memoirs, that I often spoke the truth and was 
not beheved ; and also that when results I had predicted 
happened they were no correction for another time. The 
regent rephed serenely and in all security. The others 
present seemed to be of my opinion, though without saying 
much. I went away the next day, and the affair took 
place as T have just related. 

Meantime another edict was proposed, to turn the Com- 
pany of the Indies into a commercial company, which 
The "Company obliged itsclf, by that means, to redeem within 
of the Indies" ^ ^^^ ^^ hundred milhons of bank-notes, 

made a commer- «' 

ciai company. "j^y paying off fifty miUious per month. This 
was the last resource of Law and his system. He was 
forced to substitute for the legerdemain of the Mississippi 
something real, especially since the result of the edict of 
May 22, so celebrated and so fatal to his paper. The 
scheme now was to substitute a real Company of the Indies 
for past chimeras, and it was that name and that thing 
which took the place of what had been known previously 
as the Mississippi. But in vain did they give the new 
company the monopoly of tobacco and a great many other 


sources of immense revenues ; they were all as nothing 
towards meeting the paper shed broadcast among the people, 
no matter what pains were taken to diminish it at all risks 
and at all costs. 

Other expedients had to be found. This of rendering 
the company a commercial company was of no use what- 
Fatai results of Gver ; it was Only conferring upon it, under 
that expedient. q^ specious, but obscurc and vague name, the 
right of exclusive commerce. "We can imagine how such 
a resolution would be received by the public, driven to 
extremities by the stern prohibition, under heavy penalties, 
of keeping more than five hundred francs in specie in their 
homes, which were liable to visitation and ransacking; 
while they themselves were forbidden to pay for the com- 
monest necessaries of daily life in anything but bank-bills. 
This new scheme worked two results : first, a bitterness 
which grew more bitter still from the difficulty each man 
had of getting at his own money day by day for the daily 
needs of life, — and the wonder is that the disturbance 
calmed down and that all Paris did not revolt as one man, — 
and, secondly, that parliament, making a foothold of this 
public agitation, held firmly to the end against registering 
the edict, which was sent to it July 17. 

On that same day, 17th, there was such a crowd about 
the bank and the adjacent streets to obtain, each man, the 
wherewithal to go to market, that ten or a dozen persons 
were smothered. Three of the dead bodies were tumultu- 
ously borne to the gate of the Palais-Royal, where the popu- 
lace demanded an entrance with loud cries. A detachment 
of the king's guards was hurriedly brought up. The lieuten- 
ant of police arrived and harangued the people, whom by 
gentleness and cajolery he managed to disperse, getting the 
bodies out of the way meantime, so that by ten o'clock in 


the morning the affair was over. Law took it into his 
head to go to the Palais-Eoyal, and was followed through 
the streets with imprecations, so that the regent kept him 
there and gave him a lodging. He sent away his carriage, 
the glass of which was broken by stones ; his house was 
attacked, and the windows of it broken in the same way. 
The next day an ordinance of the king was issued forbid- 
ding the people to assemble, under heavy penalties, and 
declaring that in consequence of the trouble of the day 
before at the bank, it would remain closed and no coin 
would be issued until order was restored. How were people 
to live in the meantime ? Yet no disturbance occurred, 
which only proved the goodness and obedience of the people 
when put to such strange trials. Nevertheless, troops were 
brought in from Charenton, several regiments of cavalry 
and the dragoons from Saint-Denis, also the king's regiment 
from the heights of Chaillot. Specie was sent to Gonesse 
to bring in the bakers as usual, fearing that they would 
refuse, as did nearly all the shop-keepers and work-people 
in Paris, to take paper money. 

The year ended by the sudden and secret departure of 

Law, who had no resources left, and whom it was now 

necessary to sacrifice to the public resentment. 

Law leaves the •' ^ 

kingdom; his jjis SOU was witli him, and they went to 

end ; his family. v i /^ 

Brussels, thence to Liege and Germany, where 
he offered his talents to several princes, who declined them 
with thanks. After rambling about for some time, he passed 
through Tyrol, saw several of the Italian Courts, none of 
which detained him, and finally retired to Venice, where that 
republic made no use of him. His wife and daughter fol- 
lowed him some time later. Law was a Scotchman of 
doubtful nobility, tall and very well made, with an agree- 
able face and countenance, very gallant, and standing well 



with the women of all countries where he travelled. His 
wife was not his wife ; she belonged to a good family in 
England and had followed Law for love ; she had a son and 
a daughter by him and passed for his wife, though never 
married to him. This was suspected towards the end of 
their life in Paris, and after their departure it became certain. 
I don't know whether her influence was great over Law, but 
he always seemed full of respect and attentions to her. 
They were both, at the time they left France, between forty- 
five and fifty years old. Law left a power of attorney to 
settle his affairs with the grand prior of Vendome and with 
Bully, who had made a great deal out of him. He had many 
possessions of all kinds, but, more than all, debts ; so that 
the chaos of his affairs is not yet disentangled by a committee 
of the council appointed to settle with his creditors. I have 
said elsewhere, and I here repeat it, that there was no avarice 
and no knavery in his make-up. He was a gentle, kind, 
respectful man, whom inordinate influence and fortune had 
never spoiled, and whose behaviour, equipments, table, and 
furniture could never shock any one. He endured with 
patience and singular consistency the obstacles placed in his 
way to thwart his operations, until quite the end, when, 
finding himself cut short of means while striving and desir- 
ing to meet his obligations, he became irritable, ill-humour 
seized him, and his answers were often incautious. He was a 
man of system, calculation, comparison, thoroughly and deeply 
informed on that line. Without ever cheating, he had won 
enormously at play, by dmt of possessing, to a degree that 
seems to me incredible, the faculty of combination of cards. 

His bank, as I have said elsewhere, would have been an 
excellent thing in a repul)lic, or in a country like England, 
where finance is essentially in a republic. As for his Missis- 
sippi, he was the dupe of it ; he believed in good faith that 

VOL. IV. — 19 


he could really make great and rich settlements in America. 
He reasoned like an Englishman, and ignored how contrary 
to commerce and such enterprises is the volatility of this 
nation, its inexperience, its eagerness to get rich of a sudden, 
the impediments of a despotic government which lays its 
hand on everything and has little or no continuity — for 
what is done by one minister is destroyed or changed by his 
successor. Law's proscription of specie, then of jewels, in 
order to have none but paper money in France is a system 
that I have never understood, nor any one else, as I think, 
from the days of Abraham down. But Law was a man of 
systems, and so profound that one did not understand him ; 
though he was by nature clear, with a fluent elocution, which 
had, however, a good deal of English in its French. He 
resided several years in Venice on very small means, and 
died there, a Catholic, — having lived honestly, soberly, and 
modestly, though poorly, receiving piously the sacraments of 
the Church. 

After these changes in the ministry of finance, everything 
remained for a time inactive, and this, joined to a total want 
of confidence, destroyed completely the credit of the king, 
and left the fortunes of individuals in a state of extreme 
uncertainty. All business of this kind went on between the 
regent and La Houssaye, the new controller-general, who, in 
addition to the general chaos of the finances, found no 
registers, no sources of knowledge of any kind, nor any 
person to give any, because with Law fell those he had 
employed. Circulation was paralyzed ; exhaustion and con- 
fusion reigned to a degree that is difficult to imagine. No 
one was ignorant in the main of the disorder of the finances, 
but when [after a report made to a Council of Regency at 
which the facts were clearly stated] the details of fictitious 
millions became known, bringing ruin to the king and to 


private individuals, the nation was terrified. It was then 
seen plainly to what this jugglery, by which all France had 
been seduced, had led, and what had been the prodigality 
of the regent, led on by the facihty of coining money with 
paper and thus misleading the public greed. A remedy had 
to be found ; for things had now arrived at their worst ; and 
this remedy, which must result in fatal detriment to the 
holders of shares in the company and bank-notes, could only 
be found by exposing the whole evil, so long concealed as far 
as it was possible to do so, in order that each man should see 
where he really stood. Added to this pressuig necessity was 
the difficulty of finding any remedy at all. 

After the edict of the 22nd of May, which was the epoch 
of the fall of what had been known as the Mississippi and 
the Bank, and the loss of pubhc confidence by the sad rev- 
elation that there was not real money enough to meet the 
notes, because of the enormous output of the latter beyond 
the amount of coin, every step had been a stumble, every 
operation a paUiative, and a feeble one. They had only 
sought to gain days and weeks, in the darkness they inten- 
tionally tliickened from the dread they had of letting the 
light in upon so much seduction and such horrors of pubhc 
ruin. Law could not cleanse himself before the world of 
having been its inventor and its instrument, and he would 
have run great risk had he still been here at the final moment 
of this terrible unveiling. The regent, to gratify his natural 
pliancy and prodigahty and to satisfy the inordinate greed 
of those about him, had forced Law's hand and stripped him 
of milHons of notes far beyond all means of ever meeting 
them. He now found himself brought to a stand and com- 
pelled to show in the light of day the state of the finances, 
and the management of that enormous enterprise which was 
all deception. 

The Abh^ Dubois, who thought of nothing but how to 
facilitate his promotion to the cardinalate, and who sacrificed 
Declaration for to that object the State, the regent, and every- 
Sn£Su?r?ad" ^hiug clse, did it SO surely that we were taken 
at the councu. Iqj surprise at a Council of Regency when the 
chancellor, pulling out of his pocket the letters-patent for 
the acceptance of the bull Unigenitus, read them by order of 
the regent, who did not take the votes, for which I was as 
glad as I was astonished. This novel method of dispensing 
with votes struck everybody, and marked very plainly that 
they would not have been in favour of the declaration, and 
also the trickery and violence of boldly assuming approval 
under the certainty that no one would venture to object. 
This was a grand merit which Dubois acquired with the 
Jesuits and the whole cabal of the bull. 

Parliament, however, would not enregister the king's dec- 
laration for this acceptance, and Dubois, anxious about the 
interests of his hat and desirous of giving bril- 

Parliament ° ^ 

refuses to liaut proofs of his zeal to Eome and the Jesuits, 

enregis er i . made the rcgcnt resolve to have the document 

enregistered by the Grand Council, to wliich, in order to 
avoid the obstacles he feared, the regent was to go himself, 
'and take with him all the princes of the blood, the peers, and 
the marshals of France ; because at this tribunal all the 
officers of the crown have a seat and a deliberating voice; 
which is different from the parliaments, where they have no 
vote unless the king is present and takes them with him. 


Arriving at the Palais-Eoyal from Meudon one morning, I 
found the Due d'0rl4ans alone in his great apartment, giv- 
ing orders to the red waiters to go round and notify all 
these gentlemen for the next morning. I had been kept in 
ignorance of what was going on, for Dubois was afraid that I 
should make the thing miss fire by convincing the regent of 
the weakness and indecency of such a solemn step, so novel 
and so useless. I therefore asked the Due d'Orldans what it 
was all about. He told me, and then stretching his arms 
towards me and smiling, he begged me not to go to the 
Council. I began to laugh, and told him he could not give 
me a more agreeable order or one that I should execute more 
willingly, because it spared me the pain of rising publicly 
against his wishes and arguing with all my strength against 
them. He said he knew that very well, and that was why 
he begged me not to be present. Though the thing was 
done, I did not refrain from telling him in two words that 
he was being made to commit a great blunder, by advertising 
his perfect powerlessness to make a valid registration in loco 
maiorum before that tribunal : for the Grand Council and 
all tribunals non-parhamentary have only powers within 
their own jurisdiction, and none at all over public matters 
in general. I contented myself with these few words, for 
there was no hope of breaking a plan so far advanced and 
about to be executed the next morning ; above all, one that 
Dubois regarded as his own most vital affair. I finished 
the work I had to do with the regent and went back to 
Meudon, grieved at what they were making him do, but 
much comforted at being released, without having asked it, 
from the necessity of attending the Council. 

The affair did not take place without creating a stir. Sev- 
eral magistrates at the Grand Council gave their opinion 
against the declaration witli intelHgence, force, and breadth, 


and were not discomfited by sundry interruptions made by 

the regent, whom they answered respectfully, but with 

arcjuments and nerve ; and it was shown on 

The regent carnes ° ' 

the matter to the the couut of votes that the matter was carried 

Grand Council. tit, 

by the votes oi the peers and marshals, who, 
with very few of the magistrates of the Grand Council, made 
a majority. I heard that my absence was much remarked 
upon, and some persons sent to the courtyard to see if my 
carriage was there. I dare not say that people applauded 
my absence and that Dubois was very angry, for he never 
spoke to me about it, but I think he was much surprised 
when he heard from the Dvic d'Orl^ans that it was he himself 
who asked me to stay away. The result was just what I pre- 
dicted. People scoffed at the proceeding and the show ; re- 
Nuiiity of that garding it as a useless piece of cowardice, an 
registration. avowal of wcakuess, a cringing to Eome. No 

one mistook the selfish motive of Dubois, nor did any one, 
beginning with the Grand Council itself, regard the regis- 
tration as having the slightest force or authority in the 

Philippe de Courcillon, called the Marquis de Dangeau, 
died in Paris, at eighty-four years of age, September 7, — a 
Death, fortune, liarmlcss sort of persouagc, about whom curi- 
and M^mofrof ' ^sity apropos of his singular Memoirs may 
Dangeau. require me to say a few words here. He was 

a tall man, very well made, grown stout with age, having an 
always pleasant face, which gave a promise, and kept it, of an 
insipidity that turned one's stomach. He had no means, or 
very little ; he applied himself to learn perfectly all the 
games that were played in those days, — piquet, bete, hombre, 
great and little prime, hoc, reversis, brelan, — and to study 
the combinations of games and cards, until he possessed 
them so thoroughly as scarcely ever to be mistaken even at 


lansquenet and bassette, judging them accurately and staking 
on those he believed would win. Such knowledge won him 
much ; and his gains put him in the way of introducing him- 
self into good houses and, little by little, at Court. He was 
soft, obhging, flattering, with the air and tone and manners of 
society, prompt and excellent at cards, where, no matter how 
great his gains (and they certainly were the basis and the 
means of his fortune), he was never suspected, and his repu- 
tation was always clean and intact. The necessity of finding 
heavy players for the game of the king and Mme. de Montes- 
pan admitted him to their table ; and it was of him, when 
fully initiated, that Mme. de Montespan said merrily that no 
one could help hking him and laughing at him ; which 
was perfectly true. People liked him because nothing ever 
escaped him against any one ; he was kindly, accommodating, 
reliable in his dealings, a very honest man, obliging, honour- 
able, but otherwise so flat, so insipid, such an admirer of 
nothings, — provided such nothings related to the king or to 
persons in place and favour, — so grovelling an adulator of 
the same, and, after his rise, so puffed-up with pride and silli- 
ness and so occupied with exhibiting and making the most 
of his pretended distinctions, that no one could keep himself 
from laughing at him. 

With little wit, but what he had of the great world, the 
result of being always in good society, he allowed himself at 
times to scribble verses. The king had a fancy at one time 
for 'bout-rimes. Daugeau was ardently desirous of a lodg- 
ing at Versailles, when lodgings were scarce, in the early 
times when the king went to live there. One day, when he 
was playing at cards with Mme. de Montespan, Dangeau 
sighed pathetically in speaking to some one of this de- 
sire, but loud enough for the king and Mme. de Montespan 
to overhear him. They did so, and diverted themselves 


accordingly ; then, finding it very amusing to keep Dan- 
geau on the gridiron, they invented the strangest rhymes 
they could imagine and gave them to him, feeling quite 
sure he could do nothing with them, but promising him a 
lodging if he managed to compose them without leaving the 
game, and before it ended. It turned out that the parties 
duped were the king and Mme. de Montespan. The muses 
favoured Dangeau ; he won his lodging and received it 

He had married in 1632 a rich girl, daughter of a collec- 
tor of taxes called Morui the Jew. Being left a widower, 
he found himself rich enough to remarry with a Comtesse 
Loevenstein, maid-of-honour to Mme. la Dauphine, and niece 
of Cardinal de Fiirstemberg, who had several sisters very 
grandly married in Germany, and brothers in high posi- 
tions. We have seen elsewhere who the Loevensteins were, 
and what a fuss Madame made on seeing the arms palatine 
quartered with those of Courcillon on Mme. Dangeau's sedan- 
chair. 'T was a pleasure to see with what delight Dangeau 
strutted about in deep mourning for his wife's relations, and 
told of their grandeur. At last, by dint of veneering himself 
with this one and that one, behold a seigneur, affecting all 
the manners of the same enough to make one die of laugh- 
ing ; for did not Bruyfere say, in his excellent " Characters of 
Theophrastus," that Dangeau was not a seigneur, but after 
a seigneur ? 

From the time he first came to Court, that is, about the 
period of the death of the queen-mother, he began to write 
in a journal the news of the day, and he was faithful to the 
work until he died. He wrote them like a gazette, without 
any comments, so that one reads of events with exact dates 
and not one word of their causes, still less of any intrigues 
or any sort of emotion, either at Court or among private per- 


sons. The servility of a humble courtier, the worship of a 
master, and of all that is or smells of favour, the silliest 
and most miserable praise, eternal and suffocating incense, 
even about the most indifferent actions of the king, of Mme. 
de Maintenon, of the ministers, all that the king did each 
day, often the actions of the princes and the most influen- 
tial ministers, are there written down dryly as to facts, but 
as much as possible with servile flattery, and for things that 
no other than himself would have dreamed of lauding. It 
is difficult to understand how a man could have had the 
patience and perseverance to write such a work every day 
of his life for fifty years, — so meagre, so dry, so constrained, 
so cautious, so hteral; writing nothing but a mere shell, of 
repulsive aridity. It must be owned, however, that it would 
have been difficult for Dangeau to have written real memoirs 
requiring insight into the various machinations of a Court. 
Dangeau had a mind below mediocrity, very frivolous, very 
incapable in every way, taking readily the shadow for the 
substance, living on gas, and perfectly contented with it. 
All his capacities went solely to behave himself properly, 
to hurt no one, to acquire, preserve, and enjoy a sort of 
consideration ; without ever perceiving that, beginning from 
the king down, his silliness and conceit diverted the com- 
pany, and that traps were laid for him in those directions, 
into which he tumbled headlong. But with all that, his 
memoirs are full of facts about which the gazettes are 
silent ; they will gain much by age, and will greatly help 
those who wish to write correctly, through the accuracy of 
their chronology, and the confusion that this will assist such 
writers to avoid. 

For a long time past the Abb^ Dubois had shut the mouth 
of his master towards me, especially on the matter of foreign 
affairs. This did not prevent a few scraps escaping the Due 


d'OrMans when we were alone together, but with very little 
detail and connection ; and I was always, for my part, ex- 
tremely reserved. But one day, early in June, 


The regent con- I found him alouc. Walking up and down the 
fides to me the j ^ apartment. As soon as he saw me he 

marriage ol the "-' ^ 

king with the graspcd me by the hand, exclaiming : " Ho cli ! 

infanta. t > i i i t ^ 

1 cant keep the thing I most desired in the 
world a secret from you, — a most important thing for me, 
and one you will equally rejoice in ; but you must keep it the 
greatest secret." And then he added, laughing : " If M. de 
Cambrai knew that I told you he would never forgive me." 
After which he informed me of his reconciliation with the 
King and Queen of Spain, the marriage of the king to the in- 
fanta as soon as she was marriageable, and that of the Prince 
of the Asturias to his own daughter. Mile, de Montpensier. 

Though my joy was great, my astonishment surpassed it. 
The Due d'Orldans embraced me, and after the first reflec- 
tions on the personal advantages to him in so great an affair, 
I asked him how he had managed to bring it about, espe- 
cially as to the marriage of his daughter. He said it was 
done in a twinkling, for the Abb^ Dubois was the devil and 
all if he really wanted a thing ; that the King of Spain had 
been so enchanted at the request of the king, his nephew, for 
the infanta, that they had made the marriage of the Prince of 
the Asturias a sine qua non condition of that of the infanta, 
which forced the hand of the King of Spain in spite of him- 
self. After we had talked it well over and greatly rejoiced, 
I told him that the marriage of his daughter ought to be 
kept secret till the very moment of her departure, and that 
of the king until years would permit of its celebration, so 
as to prevent the jealousy of all Europe at this close union 
of the two branches of the Eoyal House, — a union which 
had always been its terror, as disunion was its hope, and the 


constant object of its policy ; for whicli reason it was best 
to leave the world ignorant as long as possible, as the 
infanta was only three years old, being born in Madrid on 
March 30th, 1718 ; the Prince of the Asturias, born in 
August, 1707, was fourteen, and Mile, de Montpensier 
twelve. " You are quite right," replied the Due d'Orldans, 
" but it can't be done, because in Spain they wish the decla- 
ration made at once, and the infanta sent here the mo- 
ment the proposal is made and the marriage-contract signed." 
" What folly ! " I cried ; " why sound such a tocsin to set all 
Europe in a ferment ? You ought to make them understand 
that, and be firm about it ; nothing is more important." 
" That is true," said the Due d'Orldans. " I think just as 
you do, but they are so headstrong in Spain they would 
have it so, and I had to agree. The thing is settled, done, 
decided ; the affair is so important for me, in every respect, 
that you never could advise me to break it off for such a 
whim." I agreed, shrugging my shoulders with impatience 
at such perverse ill-luck. 

While we had been talking the matter over, I had thought 
about my own affairs and the occasion so naturally present- 
ing itself of making the future of my second 

I obtain the . 

embassy to SOU. I Said therefore to the regent that, inas- 

^^'"" much as matters had necessarily come to the 

point he mentioned, it became important to send at once 
and make a solemn demand for the infanta and sign the 
marriage-contract ; that for such a purpose a seigneur of 
mark and high rank was needed, and I begged him to give 
that embassy to me, with his protection and recommendation 
to the King of Spain to make my second son, the Marquis 
de Ruffec, a grandee of Spain. I said: " I ask for him a thing 
that does not interfere with any one, that gives him the 
rank and honours of a duke, and is the natural result of an 


embassy sent to make a marriage for the king. No one could 
fail to approve of your giving me the mission with a view to 
the grandeeship." The Due d'Orl^ans would hardly let me 
finish ; he granted my request at once, promised to do all 
in his power to obtain the rank for the Marquis de Ruffec, 
seasoned his promise with much friendship, and asked me 
for absolute secrecy, and to let none of my preparations be 
visible until he should tell me to make them. I understood 
very well that, besides the secrecy of the affair, he wanted 
time to coax his Dubois and make him swallow the pill. 
My thanks being made, I asked him two favours : one was, not 
to give me any salary as an ambassador, but enough in bulk 
for an outfit to save me from being ruined ; and the other 
was, not to charge me with any other affairs, because I did 
not wish to cj[uit him or take root in Spain, where I wished 
to go solely for my second son and to return immediately. 
The fact was I feared that Dubois would keep me there in 
exile in order to be rid of me here, and I saw later as things 
turned out that my precaution was not useless. The Due 
d'Orleans granted both requests, with many obliging assur- 
ances that he hoped my absence would not be long. I 
thought I had done a great affair for my family, and I went 
home very content ; but, good God ! what are the plans and 
successes of men ? 

As time went by after the accession of the new pope, 
Dubois' impatience gave him no rest. He was stunned 
Dubois a car- whcu he heard that the pope had made one 
dinaiatiast. cardinal all alone on the 16th of June, — his 

His conduct on 

the occasion. brothcr, the Bishop of Terracina, a Benedictine 
monk of Monte Cassini. Dubois, expecting that no promo- 
tion would be made unless he were of it, breathed fire and 
slaughter. But he did not wait long. A month later, July 
16, saw him cardinal, together with Don xilessandro Albano, 

y / / ^ / / 


nephew of the late pope and brother of the cardinal-camer- 
Imgo. Dubois received the news and the comphments with 
infinite joy ; but he knew enough to contain himself with 
some decency and to give all the honour of his elevation to 
the Due d'Orleans, who had little or no part in it. But he 
could not help telluig everybody that what honoured him 
more than even the Eoman purple itself was the unanimous 
desire and eagerness of all the powers to procure it for him. 
He exhaled himself on that, and never stopped talking of it, 
but no one was duped in that way. 

Though he and I were on the terms I have shown, I 
thought I ought to put the regent at his ease between Dubois 
and me, as I was forced to have a certain necessary inter- 
course with him during my embassy. I therefore went to 
call upon him ; whereupon he overwhelmed me with respects, 
compliments, protestations of gratitude for the honour I did 
him, with no word of the past. Though the visit was one 
of ceremony and there was much company, he used his red 
hat (which he had just received from the hands of the king) 
as if it were a black one, tossed it aside like dirt to offer me 
his hand, and conducted me at partmg to the very end of 
his apartment and even to the courtyard on wliich it opened. 
The Due d'Orleans expressed to me his pleasure at this act 
on my part, and after that I never met the new cardinal m 
the regent's apartments that he did not come to me and, 
stepping backward from the door, perform marvels ; in 
which I took good care to put no confidence. On receiving 
his hat from the king he took off from his neck his episcopal 
His pectoral cross and prescutcd it to the Bishop of Frdjus 

rlslmenrom. "^lio was Standing near, telling him that it 
deFrejus. brought good luck, and for that reason he 

begged him to wear it for his sake. Frdjus reddened and 
received it with much embarrassment. This cross, though 


shaped like all others, was very peculiar in workmanship, 
which made it perfectly distinguishable; but Frdjus, liable 
to meet the cardinal continually in the kmg's presence, dared 
not avoid wearing it. He was dining one day, with the cross 
on his neck, at the Duchesse du Lude's, with M. and Mme. 
de Torcy and a large company, when Mme. de Torcy, who 
did not hke Dubois and was much displeased with Frejus' 
conduct about the bull and whatever was charged with 
Jansenism, accustomed, moreover, to see him in earlier years 
a parasite and hanger-on of her family, attacked his cross 
at table with a good deal of wit, freedom, and bitterness, 
falling foul of the pair with stinging sharpness, and putting 
Fr^jus so beside himself that he did not know where he 
was ; while the company, who saw and regretted such a 
scene at table, tried in vain to call the dogs off the hunt, 
which lasted a long time and was never forgiven by Fleury, 
either to Mme. de Torcy or her husband, who really had 
nothmg to do with it. Torcy himself was much too wise 
and cautious, and truly it was a great imprudence in his 

Fr^jus, intent on the future, but the future of this world, 
thought of nothing so much as attaching the king to him- 
conductofFrejus sclf, in wliicli lic was making great and very 
rege^nVvnieroy, visible progrcss. Although in his heart op- 
and the world. poscd to the rcgcut, hc behaved to him always 
with the utmost circumspection, and in cultivating the 
opposite party he did it with caution. Mar^chal de Ville- 
roy was the coryphee of that party. He was the object 
of Fleury's most jealous attention. The latter dreaded his 
grandeur, which he regarded as fatal to his own project of 
gaining possession of the king with an authority to be 
shared by no one; he felt the disproportion of the mar^- 
chal to himself, and he was personally hampered by all 


that he owed him of attachment and gratitude. It was 
not yet time to relieve himself of those bonds, but he was 
careful not to increase them by serving, or by encouraging 
against the government and person of the Due d'Orl^ans, 
a party timid at heart, badly organized for action, depressed 
by the blows it had received, but full of an ardent will ; 
a party which, if it could only have counted on the king 
through Frdjus, would soon have recovered strength and 
courage. But in that case the principal fruit would have 
been gathered by Villeroy, from his place beside the king, 
which was far from the interest or the intention of Fr^jus, 
who was toiling from afar to become sole master, and re- 
garded the ruin of the mar^chal in the king's mind as 
essential to the great position which he meditated gaining 
for himself. 

His progress in the king's affections was so visible that 
he was rapidly becoming a personage whom every one 
thought it was well to conciliate. If he felt the superiority 
of rank and position which Villeroy held over him, much 
more did he feel that of the Due d'Orl^ans, the weight of 
his birth, place, talents, age, aU of which would naturally 
continue his authority for thirty years after the close of 
his regency. Moreover, the regent, having removed the 
Due du Maine from his duties to the king, might also re- 
move him, without the slightest fear of exciting opposition, 
and thus destroy his hopes and plans forever. It was this 
that restrained him towards the regent within proper 
bounds ; it was this that led him to cultivate me with so 
much care and the outside husk of confidence, — because I 
was the only person in close relations with the regent 
whom a bishop, anxious to exhibit the virtues and behav- 
iour of his calling (from which he drew great benefit event- 
ually), could frequent on a footing of personal intimacy. 


It was this also that redoubled his sedulous care and 
activity in attaching the king to him more and more, so 
as to make, if possible, a sure buckler of the king's affec- 
tion should the regent at any future time take a fancy to 
dismiss him. I saw clearly the whole manoeuvre, and I 
tried to rouse the neghgent indifference of the Due 
d'Orl^ans. I told him how important it was to keep on 
good terms and treat wisely the only man for whom the 
king showed friendliness and confidence, for he was in- 
wardly more than alienated from the Mar^chal de ViUeroy. 
I must here admit that Fr^jus was never self-interested. 
After all things were in his power, he took no benefice 
whatever for himself, and it has never appeared that he 
made himself any other form of compensation. At the 
very height of his omnipotence and his cardinalate, his 
household, his equipments, his table, his furniture, were 
always inferior to those of the middle-class prelates. 

As soon as the maniages were declared I urged that my 
embassy should be announced, in order that I might work 
My embassy at my outfit. Tliis had been expressly for- 

announced. i • i i j. £ ^ '^.i ^ 

The Due de bidden to me so tar, and with good reason, 

Lauzun's advice, ^q excitc 110 commcut ; but that reason ceas- 
ing with the declaration of the marriages, and time press- 
ing, I wanted to begin my preparations. The Due de 
Lauzun urged me very strongly to ask for the cordon hleu 
[Order of the Holy Spirit] as a proper decoration to wear 
in Spain, and wliich, beiag a favour here, would not stand 
in the way of my obtaining in Spain what I desired for 
my children. But I would not do so. This impatience to 
wear the Order, which must in time be mine, was repug- 
nant to me. I had only desired this embassy for the sake 
of making my second son a grandee of Spain, and, if 
occasion offered, to obtain the Order of the Golden Fleece 


for the eldest. To succeed in that and to get the cordon 
lieu at the same time seemed to me too greedy a piling 
up of favours ; and I did not allow myself to be tempted. 
Whoever had told me then that I should not be included 
in the next promotion would have surprised me very much ; 
but whoso had added that I should find myself one of 
eight with Cellamare, two sons of the Due du Maine, and 
the Due de Eicheheu, in the following promotion woidd 
have amazed me far more. 

Cardinal Dubois hastened my departure eagerly, and, in 
truth, there was no time to lose. He even sent constantly 
My suite ; I leave to hastcu tlic workmcu engaged in prepar- 
Paris for Madrid, '^-^g j^y Qutfit ; he wautcd to see the liveries 
of every sort of servant, and insisted on making them very 
magnificent ; he also had aU the suits made for myself and 
my sons taken to him to see. He asked for the names of 
my suite, and exhorted me to make it a large one. I took 
with me the Comte de Lorges, the Comte de Cdreste, my 
two sons, the Abb^ de Saint-Simon, his brother, the major 
of a regiment that had served in Spaia and was well-known 
there, an officer of great distinction who was infinitely use- 
ful to me, the Abb^ de Mathan, a friend of the Abb^ de 
Saint-Simon, whom I took for his health, and who has since 
continued to be my friend also. The Comte de C^reste 
was a friend of my sons. He wanted to make the journey, 
and I felt in honour bound to him. He and I made great 
acquaintance on the way. I found him a young man who 
was fully a man, and one who was equally agreeable and 
solid. Esteem formed a friendship between us which has 
lasted intimately ever since. On the eve of my departure 
T received my letters from the king and the regent to their 
Catholic Majesties, the dowager queen at Bayonne, and 
the Prince of the Asturias. 

VOL. IV. — 20 


I left Paris with post-horses, Oct. 23, 1721, with part of 

my suite, the rest of the company joining me at Blaye. 

As I crossed the Pyrenees and quitted France 

Passage of the '' '■ 

Pyrenees. I go I also quitted the rain and the rough weather 
which had followed us till then, and found a 
cloudless sky and a charming temperature, with points of 
view and perspectives, changing continually, that were no 
less charming. We were all mounted on mules, the pace of 
which is long and easy. I turned aside in crossing the high- 
est mountain to visit Loyola, the famous birthplace of Samt 
Ignatius. It stands alone, beside a rather wide brook in a 
narrow valley, squeezed on both sides by rocky mountains, 
which must make it a glacier when covered with snow, and 
a pudding dish in summer. "VVe found there four or five 
Jesuits, very polite and intelHgent men, who are in charge 
of a monstrous building they are erecting for over a hundred 
Jesuits and an infinite number of scholars, with the intention 
of making this house a novitiate, a college, and a house for 
postulants, to serve, in short, for all the purposes to wliich 
they put their various houses, and to be, as it were, the 
capital of their Company. They showed us the primitive 
little home of the father of Saint Ignatius, a small house 
with five or six windows, which has only a ground-floor for 
the housework, a floor above, and over that a garret. It 
would be, at most, the lodging of a curate, and has nothing 
resembling a chateau about it. We saw the chamber where 
Saint Ignatius, wounded in war, lay for a long time and had 
his famous revelation about the Company of which he was 
to be the founder ; also the stable where his mother chose to 
give birth to him out of devotion to the stable in Bethlehem ; 
this stable is under the house. Nothing could be lower, 
narrower, more confined than these two places ; nothing 
more dazzling than the gold that shines everywhere about 


tliem. In each there is an altar bearing the Holy Sacrament, 
and both altars are of the utmost magnificence. 

The Jesuits' own house, which they are going to pull 
down for their enormous building, is a very small affair, only 
fit to lodge about a dozen of them. The new church is 
nearly finished. It is a rotunda, of surprising size and 
height, with lofty altars all around it placed symmetrically. 
Gold, painting, sculpture, ornaments of all sorts and the very 
richest, are spread about everywhere with amazing but 
judicious art. The architecture is correct and wonderful, 
the marbles exquisite, — ja.sper, porphyry, lapis-lazuli, — the 
columns are plain, twisted, fluted, with capitals and decora- 
tions in gilded bronze. A row of balconies are between each 
altar, with little stairways of marble leading to them, and 
the inlaid lattices, the altars, and all that accompanies them 
are wonderful. In a word, this is one of the most superb 
edifices in Europe, the best arranged and the most gorgeously 
decorated. We drank the best chocolate I ever tasted in 
this place, and after several hours of curiosity and admiration 
we regained our route and our night's lodgmg, very late, and 
with much difficulty. 

I started from Burgos on the 19th, finding few relays and 
those very poor ones, and travelled night and day without 
sleeping anywhere, and chiefly in the carriages of the magis- 
trates of the towns, until we reached Madrid ; the last dozen 
leagues we were forced to make on horseback. We arrived 
in this way at Madrid Friday, 21st, at eleven at night, and 
found at the entrance of the city, which has neither walls 
nor gates nor barriers nor suburbs, a number of men on 
guard, who asked us who we were and whence we came-, 
they were posted there to watch for my arrival and give 
notice of it. As I was very tired, having travelled from 
Burgos without stopping, and it was very late, I answered 


that we were the people of the French ambassador, who 
would arrive the next day. 

The next day, Saturday, 22nd, very early, I sent my secre- 
tary to the Marquis de Grimaldo, secretary of the king, also 
Arrival in the othcr customary messages on arrival to the 

Madrid. ministers of foreign courts. Grimaldo, sur- 

prised and very glad at my arrival, which he did not expect 
until the evening of this day, hurried to the palace to tell 
their Catholic Majesties, who, disliking their residence in 
Madrid, were impatiently awaiting my coming in order to 
start for Lerma. From the palace Grimaldo came to me, 
instead of waiting for my first visit, and found me with 
Maulevrier [French ambassador at the court of Spain], the 
Due de Liria, and some others. Grimaldo expressed to me 
the joy of their Catholic Majesties at my arrival, and after 
making me the most graceful compliments on his own behalf, 
he gave me my choice whether to go and make my bow 
to them that same morning or wait till the afternoon. I 
thought eagerness was more becoming ; and I went with 
him at once in Maulevrier's carriage. In this way all the 
difficulties of a first visit were avoided in regard to those to 
whom it was due on my part, which relieved me very much. 

We arrived at the palace as the king was returning from 
mass, and we awaited him in the little salon between the 
I make my first Salou of the Graudccs and the Salon of Mirrors, 
bow to their In a few moments the king entered and came 

CathoUc Majes- " 

ties. to me at once, preceded and followed by a good 

many courtiers, but nothing like the crowd of ours. I made 
a profound bow ; he expressed his joy at my arrival, asked 
news of the king, the Due d'Orleans, and about my journey ; 
after which he went alone into the Salon of Mirrors. In a 
moment I was surrounded by the whole Court, with compli- 
ments and assurances of joy at the marriages and the union 


of the two crowns. Grimaldo and the Due de Liria named 
the seigneurs, who all spoke French, and I endeavoured to 
reply to their civilities by mine. 

In half a quarter of an hour after the king had retired he 
sent for me. I entered alone into the Salon of Mirrors, which 
is very vast, but much less wide than long. The king, and 
the queen on his left, were standing at the other end, almost 
touching each other. I approached, with three profound 
bows. My audience lasted half an hour, during which they 
expressed their joy, their desires, their impatience, with great 
effusion about the Due d'Orl^ans, and their desire to make 
Mile, de Montpensier happy. At the close of the conver- 
sation, in which the queen talked a great deal more than the 
king, though he showed his joy as plainly, they did me the 
honour to say that they wished to show me the infants, and 
ordered me to follow them. I have never seen prettier chil- 
dren nor better made than Don Ferdinand and Don Carlos, 
uor a finer babe than Don Philippe. The king and queen 
took pleasure in making them turn about and walk before 
me with very good grace. After which we entered the room 
of the infanta, where I endeavoured to display all the gal- 
lantry that I could. She was really charming, with a sen- 
sible little air, and not at all embarrassed. The queen 
remarked that the infanta was beginning to speak French 
pretty well ; to which the king added that she would soon 
forget Spain. " Oh ! " cried the queen, " not only Spain, but 
the king and me, to attach herself the more to the king, her 
husband ; " on which I did my best not to be mute. A few 
moments later the king called me to see the Prince of the 
Asturias, who was still in the Salon of Mirrors. I found him 
tall, and truly a picture ; fair, with beautiful blond hair, a 
white skin with much colour, a long but agreeable face, fine 
eyes, though rather too near the nose, and with plenty of 


grace and politeness. He asked with interest for news of the 
king, the Due d'Orl^ans, and MUe. de Montpensier and the 
time of her arrival. 

The first sight of the King of Spain, after I had made my 
bow to him, astonished me so much that I had need to 
Sketch of the gather myself together to recover from it. 
King of Spain. j ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ vcstigc of the former Due 

d'Anjou in that changed and elongated face, which told 
even less than it did when he left France. He was much 
bent, and sliortened; his chin was thrust forward very far 
from his chest ; the feet straight, touching each other and 
interfering as he walked, thougli he walked quickly with his 
knees a foot apart. Wliat he did me the honour to say was 
well said, but the words were so drawling, Ms air so silly, 
that I was quite confounded. A tight body coat, without 
any kind of gold lace, and made of a sort of brown drugget 
because he was intending to hunt, did not improve either his 
looks or his bearing. He wore a tied wig, thrown behind 
his head, the cordon hleu over his coat, — this at all times 
and everywhere, — so that the Golden Fleece, which he wore 
round his throat on a red ribbon, could scarcely be seen, be- 
cause his cravat and chin and the cordon bleu concealed it. 

But though I was surprised at this first sight of the King 
of Spain, I must say, with the most exact and literal truth, 
that later, on my formal demand for the infanta in marriage, 
his answers surprised me equally. They were made to 
each point of my discourse in their proper order, with dig- 
nity, grace, and even majesty, and especially with a sur- 
prising choice of expressions, and words so appropriate and 
so judiciously and accurately measured out that I seemed to 
hear the late king, that master of such replies and so well 
versed in making them. Philippe V. was not born with 
superior intellect, nor \vith anything of what is called imagi- 


nation. He was cold, silent, sad, sober, open to no pleasure 
but that of hunting, fearing society, fearing himself, solitary 
and secluded by choice and habit, rarely touched by others ; 
with good sense, nevertheless, and an upright nature, com- 
prehending things fairly well, obstinate when he set himself 
to will a thing, and at such times impossible to change, but 
otherwise perfectly easy to lead and govern. 

He felt little. In his campaigns he stayed where they 
put him ; if it was under fire he was not the least shaken, 
and amused himself with watching if others were afraid. 
Under cover and far from danger he was just the same, 
without considering whether or not his fame would suffer. 
On the whole he liked to make war, though still with the 
same indifference as to whether he went or not, whether 
he was present or absent, leaving to his generals the whole 
command, without ever putting in a word of his own. He 
was extremely conceited, and would not tolerate the slightest 
resistance to any of his enterprises ; and what made me 
think that he loved praise was that the queen praised liim 
incessantly, even about his face ; asking me one day before 
him if I did not thiak him very handsome, handsomer than 
any man I knew. His piety was only custom, scruples, ter- 
rors, small observances, without knowing anything whatever 
of religion ; the pope was a divinity when he did not oppose 
him ; in that, a shallow imitation of the Jesuits, whom he 
passionately admired. Though his health was good, he was 
always feehng himself over, and uneasy about it. A phy- 
sician like the one whom Louis XI. enriched at the close 
of his life, another Maitre Coyctier, would soon have become 
a rich and powerful personage; happily, the one whom 
Philippe V. employed was a man of worth and honour, and 
his successor was whoUy devoted to the queen and kept 
in order by her. 


It "was not so much the difficulty of speaking well as 
laziness and distrust of himself that made the king silent. 
He rarely took part in the conversation, which he let the 
queen hold with those who followed them on the Mall or 
saw them in private audiences ; he also left her to talk with 
this one and that one in passing, scarcely ever saying any- 
thing himself. Yet he was the man of all others who 
took most note of defects and absurdities, and would make 
the best and most amusing story of them. I have said 
with what dignity and appropriateness he replied to my 
speech at the formal audience, and what discriminating 
words lie used about the marriages, which shows that he 
could express himself perfectly when he chose, though he 
seldom took the pains to do so. Towards the end of my 
stay, after I had made him famihar with me at my private 
audiences, which always turned into conversations, I heard 
him talk and reason well on several occasions ; but whenever 
there were people present he usually said a mere word to 
me, a short question or something of the kind, and never 
entered into any conversation. 

He was kind, easy to serve, familiar with liis interior 
household, and sometimes with certain seigneurs. Love of 
France issued from every pore of him. He retained great 
reverence and gratitude for the late king, and tenderness 
for the late Monseigneur, and, above all, for ]Mgr. the Dau- 
phin, his brother, for whose loss he was never consoled. I 
did not remark an interest in any other of the royal family 
except the present king, and he made no inquiry about any 
one belonging to the Court with the sole exception of the 
Duchesse de Beauvilliers, and as to her witli friendship. 

The queen alarmed me with a face that was scarred, 
seamed, and excessively disfigured by the smaU-pox. The 
garments then in fashion for the Spanish ladies, invented 


by the Princesse des Ursins and totally different from their 
former style, is as favourable to young and well-made women 
Sketch of the ^s it is distressing in those whose defects of 
Queen of Spain, ^gg ^^^^ figure it reveals. The queen was ex- 
tremely well-made, though slender ; her neck and shoulders 
beautiful, rather full and very white, as were the hands and 
arms ; her figure easy, the waist long and extremely tapering. 
She spoke French very well with a sHght Itahan accent, in 
good language, choice but not studied, her voice and enuncia- 
tion most agreeable. A charming, continual, and natural 
grace without the slightest affectation accompanied her words 
and her coimtenance, varying as they varied. She united an 
air of kindness, even courtesy and amiable familiarity, with 
one of grandeur and majesty which never left her. From 
this mixture it resulted that when one had the honour of 
seemg her in some privacy (though always with the king), 
one was readily at ease with her, without forgetting who 
she was, and quickly accustomed to her face. In fact, after 
seeing her for a while, one could easily distinguish that she 
must have had beauty and charm, the idea of which that 
cruel small-pox had not wholly effaced. I must add here 
that night and day, in work, audiences, amusements, devo- 
tions, she and the king were never parted for a single instant, 
except for formal audiences which they gave separately. 

The queen [Elizabeth Farnese} was brought up very 
harshly in a garret of the palace in Parma by the duchess 
her mother, who had never let her see life until after the 
proposal of her amazing marriage ; and then as little as she 
could, and always under her own eyes. The princess was 
born with a good mind and all the natural graces that the 
mind knows how to govern. Sense, reflection, behaviour 
made use of her intelligence and employed it pertinently, 
drawing from its graces all that it liad to give. She felt her 


talents and her forces, but without that pride and vanity of 
display which would have weakened them or made them 
ridiculous. Her ways were simple, unaffected ; sometimes a 
natural gayety sparkled across and through the everlasting 
tedium of her life ; and though she had temper and some- 
times sharpness, which this uurelaxed constraint had given 
her, she was really a woman who pretended to nothing in 
the ordinary current of her Kfe, where she was truly 

On arriving in Spain, sure of dismissing the Princesse des 
TJrsins and fully intending to take her place in the govern- 
ment, she grasped the reins at once and did it so well, seiz- 
ing at the same time the mind of the king, that she soon 
ruled the one and the other. In public matters nothing 
could be hidden from her. The king never worked except in 
her presence. All that reached him she read and reasoned 
over with him. She was present at all private audiences, 
whether of his subjects or of foreign ministers, so that 
nothing escaped her with regard to business or favours. 
With regard to the king, this eternal tete-a-tete which day 
and night she had with him gave her every means of know- 
ing him, and knowing him, as one might say, by heart. 
Nothing could equal the shrewd and clever turns she knew 
well how to give to things, and the wily way she could make 
the king take them, and, little by little, assume her likings 
and aversions. Earely did she go to her point; her way 
was by long preparations, turns and counter-turns, compass 
in hand, and feeling the wind of the king's humour, which 
she had long had time to know and could not mistake. Her 
praises, flatteries, compliances were perpetual ; never was 
the ennui, the terrible weight of the burden allowed to be 

And yet her life was cramped and agitated beyond what 


any one could imagme ; and however great her power was, 
she owed it to such art, suppleness, patience, strategy, that it 
is not too much to say that, great as it was, she paid too 
dearly for it. But she was so lively, so active, so decided, so 
resolute, so vehement in her desires, her interests were so 
dear to her and seemed to her so great, that nothing cost her 
anything to attain her ends. Sometimes the chain was 
drawn so tightly that she could never, for one instant, leave 
the left side of the king. I have seen her several times 
when walking on the Mall and excited and interested by 
some tale or conversation, walk a little slower than the king 
and so lag four or five steps behind him ; the king would 
then look back, and instantly she would regain his side in 
two jumps, and there continue the conversation with the 
seigneurs who followed her, and I with them, regaining in 
the same hasty way the ground we had lost. 

Hunting was the daily pleasure of the king, and therefore 
it was forced to be that of the queen. But it was always 
„ ^ invariably the same. Then- Catholic Maiesties 

Hunting the •' •• 

daily pleasure of ^[^ me the houour, a vcry unusual one, of com- 

the king. 

mandmg me to be present at one or these 
hunts ; and I went in my carriage. So I saw it well ; and 
whoso sees one sees all. The beasts, black and red, are not 
met with in the plains ; it was necessary to find them in the 
mountains ; but the ground there is too steep to hunt the stag, 
the boar and the other animals as we do here. In fact the 
plains themselves are so parched, and hard, and full of deep 
fissures, which can only be seen when right upon the edge 
of them, that the best hounds would have tlieir feet torn 
and even crippled for a long time. Besides, the plains are so 
covered with coarse grass that the dogs would get no help 
from their noses. As for shooting on the wing, the king had 
long given up that sort of hunting because he no longer rode 


on horseback. Consequently, his hunts were confined to 

The Due del Arco, who, by his office of grand equerry, was 
master of the hunt, selected the spot to which the king and 
queen went. There they erected two large arbours, adjoining 
each other, almost entirely closed in except for a sort of large 
open window, breast-high from the ground. The king and 
queen, the captain of the guards in quarters, and four loaders 
of gains, were the only persons in the first arbour, with a score 
of guns and the wherewithal to load them. In the other ar- 
bour, on the day that I was at the himt, was the Prince of the 
Asturias, with the Due de Popoli, the Marquis del Surco, the 
Marquis de Santa-Crux and the Due de Giovenazzo, major- 
domo and grand equerry to the queen, two or three officers of 
the body-guard, and myself, with a great many guns, and men 
to load them. A single lady-of-honour attended the queen ; 
coming alone in a carriage, which she did not leave, having 
brought for her consolation a book and some work, for none 
of the suite went up to her. Their Majesties made the trip 
at full speed with relays of guards and horses ; the moment 
they arrived at the arbours the carriages were driven away, 
with the poor lady-of-honour and the riding horses, very far 
out of sight, for fear they should frighten the animals. 

Two, three, four hundred peasants under orders had made 
a great circuit during the night to form an inclosure ; and 
very early in the morning they shouted from a distance to 
frighten the animals and make them rise, collect them to- 
gether as much as possible, and then drive them gently in 
the direction of the arbours. Within the arbours no one was 
allowed to speak or move the least in the world or let a coat 
be seen ; aU had to stand there, silent. This lasted an hour 
and a half, and did not seem to me very amusing. At last 
we heard in the distance the sound of shouts, and soon after 


came troops of animals passing at intervals within gunshot, 
and immediately the king and queen began to fire. This 
pleasure, or this species of butchery, lasted more than half an 
hour, during which we saw killed, crippled, or escaping, stags, 
does, roedeer, wild boars, hares, wolves, badgers, foxes, and 
weasels without number. It was necessary to let the king 
and queen fire first, who sometimes allowed the grand equerry 
and the captain of the guards to fire; and as we did not 
know from which hand the shot came, we had to wait till 
the king's arbour stopped firing, and then let the Prince of 
the Asturias fire, who often had nothing to fire upon, and we 
even less. I did, however, shoot a fox, rather too soon if the 
truth be told, of which I was ashamed and made my excuses 
to the Prince of the Asturias, who laughed, and the com- 
pany also ; so I followed their example, and all this very 
politely. According as the peasants drew nearer and closer, 
the hunt came on ; and it ended when the men approached 
the arbours, shouting still, because there was nothing be- 
hind them. Then the carriages were brought back, the per- 
sons in both arbours came out and met together, and the 
dead game was laid before the king. It was packed behind 
each of the carriages. Meanwhile the conversation turned 
on the hunt. We carried back on this occasion about a 
dozen head and more of large game, and several hares, foxes, 
and weasels. This is the pleasure of their Catholic Majesties 
on all working days. The peasants employed are paid, and 
the king often gives them something besides as he gets into 
his carriage. 

On returning home after the ceremony of signing the 
marriage contracts, which, owing to the length of the docu- 
niumination of mcuts to be read, lasted a very long time, 
wonSi'^nd'' T^«n Gaspard Giron [the king's majordomo] 
surprising. invitcd mc to go and see the illumination of 


the Place Major. We got iiito his carriage, and the princi- 
pal personages of my suite into carriages of my own, and 
were driven through by-streets to prevent our seeing the 
brilliancy of the illumination as we approached it. We 
arrived thus at a fine house with windows opening on the 
centre of the Place, where the king and queen always go to 
see the fetes that are held there. We saw no hght what- 
ever on getting out of the carriages or in mounting the 
stairs ; every part of the house had been carefully closed ; 
but on entering the room which looked upon the Place, 
we were dazzled, and immediately went out upon the 
balcony, where speech failed me for five or six minutes 
from surprise. 

The area of this Place is far more vast than that of any 
I have seen in Paris or elsewhere, and is longer than its 
width. The five-storev houses which surround it are of the 
same height, having all their windows at equal distances, 
each with a balcony of the same size and projection as the 
rest, with iron raihngs also alike, and all perfectly similar 
on each of tlie five storeys. On these balconies were two 
huge torches of white w^ax, one at each end of each balcony, 
simply resting against the balustrade, slightly tipping for- 
ward, without being fastened to anything. It is incredible 
the light these torches gave ; the splendour was amazing, and 
a sense of majesty I cannot express laid hold of me. One 
could read with ease the finest print in every corner of the 
square, though the ground-floor rooms were not lighted at 

As soon as I appeared upon the balcony the people 
crowded beneath it, crying out : Sefior ! Toro ! toro ! This 
was their way of requesting that I would obtain a bull- 
fight for them, which is the thing in the world for which 
they have the greatest passion, and which the king had for 


some years refused to permit, from scruples of conscience. I 
therefore contented myself on the following day with simply 
telling him of these cries of the people, without asking him 
to grant the request, while expressing my astonishment at 
so surpassing and wonderful an illumination. Don Gaspard 
Giron and the Spaniards who were in the house where I 
was, charmed with the astonishment I showed at the sight, 
made it publicly known, with all the more complacency 
because they were not accustomed to the admiration of 
Frenchmen, and many of the seigneurs spoke to me about it 
with pleasure. I had hardly time to sup, on my return from 
this beautiful illumination, before it was necessary to go to 
the palace, for the ball which the king was giving in the 
Salon of the Grandees, which lasted until two hours after 

Thursday, November 27, was the day appointed for the 

departure of the king and queen for Lerma; I went after 

dinner to the palace to see them start, and 

Departure of the -^ 

king and queen again I rcccived a thousand marks of their 
erma. kiuduess. Botli, cspccially the queen, insisted 

two or three times that I must not delay my coming to 
Lerma, on which I assured them that I should be there on 
their arrival, to assist them from their carriage. The Court 
of Spain moves like a tortoise, and was not expected to reach 
Lerma until the 11th of December. The king and queen al- 
ways travel in a large coach belonging to the queen, with 
seven windows, so that on passing along the narrow mountain 
road to Balsaim there were not two inches of margin between 
their w^heels and the precipice, and in several places the 
wheels ran in air sometimes for one hundred, sometimes for 
two hundred feet, and even more. The peasants of the 
neighbourhood in great numbers are ordered to hold the 
carriage up with long leather straps, frequently renewed : and 


these men are changed iu relays, walking over the rocke 
with the utmost difficulty and danger both to the carriage 
and themselves. Xothing was done to this road to make it 
more passable, yet the king and queen were not the least 
afraid. The women who followed the queen were half-dead 
with terror, though they were in narrower carriages. As 
for the men of the suite, they rode on mules. I shall add 
no reflections on this surprising custom. 

The small amount of lodging room that Lerma could 

furnish to the Court allowed of no one being billeted there 

except those on duty in the necessary offices. 

I am lodged at .... 

viiiahaimanzo The adjoining villages were taken for the Court, 
the grandees, and the foreign ambassadors. I 
had the choice given me of several, and I chose Viiiahaimanzo, 
on the account I received of it. It is a short half-league 
from Lerma and immediately opposite, — a little valley be- 
tween the two, which is crossed by a paved road with a 
stone bridge spanning the little river. They arranged, for 
me alone, the rector's house, small, airy, pretty, with chim- 
neys built on purpose, and all the other houses in the 
village were arranged for my suite and others w^ho were with 
me. The village is rather extensive, well-built, well-situated, 
and very agreeable ; and there was no one there but our- 
selves, the rector, and the inhabitants. During the whole 
of our stay we did not have the slightest difficulty with any 
of them. Their houses were much improved by the conven- 
iences added to them, and they were perfectly content with 
us and friendly with our servants. We did not do the 
least wrong in any way, but gave them certain presents on 
leaving, so that they felt an affection for us, and really 
regretted us, — some of them with tears. This journey was 
for me a very ruinous transplantation of my provisions 
and household. 


I left Madrid for Lerma December 2iid, and reached our 

village of Villahalmanzo [after passing three days at the 

Escurial] on the 9th, where I found myself 

On my arrival I 

fall ill with the most comfortably settled, and so did all who 
small-pox. ^^^^g ^^^j^ ^g^ y{q suppcd vcry gayly, and I 

expected the next day to walk about and amuse myself by 
reconnoitring the village and its neighbourhood ; but in the 
night a fever seized me, increasing the next day and becom- 
ing violent the following night ; so much so that there was 
no question of my going on the 11th to be present at the 
arrival of the king and queen at Lerma. The malady in- 
creased with such rapidity that I was thought to be in great 
danger, and finally at death's door. I was bled, and shortly 
after the small-pox, which was very prevalent in the neigh- 
bourhood, appeared. The climate was such this year that 
the ground was frozen hard for twelve or fourteen hours of 
each twenty-four, while from eleven in the morning till nearly 
four the sun shone brightly, and the heat was too great 
after mid-day to walk about ; although where the sun did 
not shine, on account of a wall or some obstacle, the 
ground never thawed for a moment. The cold was all 
the more stinging because the air is pure and keen and 
the sky of unbroken serenity. 

The King of Spain, who feared the small-pox extremely, 
and had confidence in none but his own physician, sent him 
to me with orders not to leave me a moment until I was well. 
I had, therefore, five or six persons continually with me, be- 
sides my servants, and one of the wisest and best physicians 
in Europe ; who was, moreover, very good company, and who 
did not leave me day or night. Also I had three good sur- 
geons, one of whom La Fare had brought with him. I had 
a great abundance of sinall-pox pustules of a good type, and 
without any dangerous crisis after they once appeared. All 

VOL. IV. — 21 


those who saw me, and the valets who served me, and even 
my kitchen, were separated from the rest. The chief physi- 
cian provided himself nearly every day with fresh remedies 
in case of need, but gave me none, beyond making me drink 
nothing but water, into which were thrown oranges cut in 
two and allowed to simmer slowly before my fire ; with an 
occasional spoonful of a sweet and agreeable cordial at the 
height of the suppuration ; after which a little wme of Eota, 
with broths made of beef, and a partridge. Nothing was lack- 
ing in the care these people bestowed upon me, their only 
patient, and nothmg was lacking to my amusement when 
I was able to take it, because of the good company I had 
about me at a time when convalescence from this particular 
malady is so wearisome and forlorn. Quite at the end I was 
bled and purged once ; after which I lived as usual, though 
still in a species of isolation. 


The year 1722 began with the exchange of the princesses, 

the future wives of the King of France and the Prince of 

1722. the Asturias, which took place on the Isle 

Exchange of ^ Pheasauts, in the little river of Bidassoa 

the princesses ' 

January 9. wliich separates the two kingdoms, and where 

a small wooden house had been built for the purpose. 
The exchange was made on the 9th of January ; and after 
reciprocal compliments and presents from the king to 
the Spaniards, each princess, with her suite, continued 
her journey. While Mile, de Montpensier continued hers 
the fortieth day of my quarantine approached, and came 
exactly two days before her arrival at Lerma. The king 
and queen had had the kindness to send me several mes- 
sages that they wished to see me the very day after my 
quarantine ended ; but knowing the king's dread of small- 
pox I waited until they sent me an absolute command, 
which I had to obey, though still quite red (to which per- 
haps the cold contributed), in spite of certain drugs I had 
been made to use to unredden me. I went for the first time 
to Lerma to make my bow and thanks to their Catholic 
Majesties on the 19th of January. After compliments and 
remarks about the small-pox, the care and capacity of 
M. Hyghens, the king's physician, they did me the honour 
to speak of Cardinal Borgia, who had arrived at Lerma from 
Eome within a few days to celebrate the marriage. The 
audience ended with all possible expressions of kindness on 
the part of the king and queen, and I had good reason to 


congratulate myself extremely at the eagerness of the whole 
Court to express their joy at my recovery from so dangerous 
an illness. 

Having returned to dinner at my own quarters, I learned 
that their Catholic Majesties, with the Prince of the Astu- 
The king, queen, rias, all iu common clothes and without any 
and Prince of the attendants, had got into a carriage in the 

Astunas go to ' o o 

meet the princess, suitc of tlic Duc del Arco, and had driven 
out to meet the princess at Cogollos, a poor sort of place 
about four leagues from Lerma, where she was expected to 
arrive that evening. The Duc del Arco found her already 
there. He said a few words in the ear of the Marquis de 
Santa Crux to warn the Duchesse de Monteillano and the 
other ladies to restrain all notice of their Majesties' pres- 
ence ; after which, entering the princess's room, he made her 
his compliment, prolonging it as much as possible to give 
his royal suite sufficient time to examine her well. He then 
asked permission to present to her a lady and two gentlemen 
who were very eager to pay their respects to her. A lady 
coming with two men, in the suite of a third man, spoilt the 
mystery. The princess suspected the quahty of these attend- 
ants and caught their hands to kiss them and was instantly 
embraced. The visit passed off with much friendliness on 
one side and respect and gratitude on the other ; and at the 
end of a quarter of an hour their Majesties got into the 
carriage and returned to Lerma. 

I had arranged with Maule\Tier that we should start 
between six and seven o'clock the next morning, with all 
. ^ , my carriages and both our suites, to drive out 

I go to make *' o 

my bow to the aud make our bow to the princess at Cogollos. 

It was eight leagues there and back, and we 

had barely time to do this and return before her own arrival 

at Lerma. We left together at seven precisely, and the 


mules went fast. We were presented to the princess, who 
had just finished dressing, and I then presented to her the 
Comte de Cdreste, my sons, and the Comte de Lorges and 
M. de Saint-Simon. The Duchesse de Monteillano, the other 
ladies, and Santa-Crux also, did their best to induce the 
princess to say a word to us, but did not succeed. They 
endeavoured to make up for this by every possible civihty. 
We had no time to lose, and returned to my quarters to eat 
a morsel in haste, which was served to us instantly, and 
then we started for Lerma ; and well we did, for the princess 
arrived within half an hour. 

The moment I reached the house I went up at once to 
the Marquis de Grimaldo's apartment, where I had been the 
day before. His room was opposite the end of a very large 
hall, at one end of which a space had been taken off to 
serve as a chapel. I knew I had again to deal w^ith the 
nuncio ; I feared he would remember what had passed at 
the signature of the contract [a silent dispute as to pre- 
cedence], and I wished to avoid all difficulty. I therefore 
saw very imperfectly the reception of the princess by the 
king and queen, who lodged on the lower floor, and by the 
prince, all three precipitating themselves, so to speak, almost 
to the door of her carriage. I, meanwhile, went quickly in 
to the chapel, which I had already taken note of on my 
previous visit to Grimaldo. 

The prie-dieu of the king was directly in front of the 
altar, at a little distance from the steps, precisely like the 
Amusing igno- prie-cUeu of the late king at Versailles, but 
ranee of Cardinal nearer tlic altar; two hassocks were before 

Borgia who 

celebrates the it, sidc by sidc. The chapel was empty of 

courtiers. I stationed myself beside the 

king's hassock on the right, standing just outside of the 

edge of his carpet, and there I amused myself much better 


than I expected. Cardinal Borgia, pontifically garbed, was 
standing at the right-hand side of the altar, his face turned 
towards me, learniag his lesson between two chaplains in 
their surplices, who were holding a large book open before 
him. The worthy prelate could not read it ; he tried hard, 
reading aloud and blundering. The chaplains corrected 
him; he got angry and scolded, began again, was corrected 
again, and grew angrier than ever; so much so that he 
turned upon them and shook them by their surplices. I 
laughed all I could, for he noticed nothing, beiug so engaged 
with his lesson. Marriages in Spain take place in the after- 
noon, and begin, like baptisms, at the door of the church. 
The king, the queen, the prince, and the princess arrived 
at the door with all the Court, and the king was annoimced 
in a loud voice. " Let them wait," cried the cardinal, very 
angry ; " I am not ready." They stopped where they were, 
and the cardinal continued his lesson, redder than his red 
hat and perfectly furious. At last he went to the door, 
where something lasted for quite a time. Curiosity would 
have made me follow, were it not for my object in keeping 
my post.^ I must have lost some diversion, for I saw the 
king and queen at their prie-dieu laughing and talking, 
and the whole Court laughing also. At this moment the 
nuncio came up to me and showed his surprise at my 
position by gestures, repeating, " Signor, signer ! " and I, 
being determined not to understand him, kept showing him 
the cardinal and laughing, telling him he ought to have 
taught him better, for the honour of the Sacred College. 
The nuncio could understand French, but murdered it in 
speaking. This joke and the ingenuous air with which I 
made it, without seeming to be aware of the nuncio's dem- 

1 His object being to prevent the nuncio from taking the post of 
honour. — Tk. 


onstrations, made so happy a diversion that the question 
dropped; and all the more because the cardinal, continuing 
the ceremony, neither knew where he was nor what he was 
about, being corrected every minute by his chaplains, and 
puffing at them angrily, so that the king and queen could 
not contaiu themselves, nor any one else who witnessed 
the scene. I could only see the backs of the prince and 
princess on their knees, each on a hassock between the pric- 
dieu and altar, and the cardinal in front of them making 
grimaces of utter confusion. 

Amid the amusement that the poor cardinal was giving 

to all who saw him, I remarked the extreme satisfaction of 

the kmg and queen in seeiag the accomplish- 

I am made a o J. o r 

grandee of Spain mcut of tliis marriage. The ceremony over, 

of the first class. ■, ■ ^ i i -i • i • t 

which was not very long and durmg which 
no one knelt down but the king and queen, and, where 
necessary, the bridal couple, their Catholic Majesties rose 
and retired to the left-hand lower corner of their carpet, 
where they whispered together for the space of, perhaps, a 
good credo ; after which che queen remained where she was, 
and the king came up to me, who was still standing where 
I had been throughout the ceremony. The king said, as he 
reached me : " Monsieur, I am so content with you in every 
respect, but particularly in the manner with which you have 
acquitted yourself of your embassy to me, that I wish to 
give you marks of my satisfaction, my esteem, and my 
friendship. I make you grandee of Spain of the first class, 
you and at the same time whichever of your two sons you 
may choose to be grandee of Spain and to enjoy that dig- 
My eldest son nity with you ; and I make your eldest son a 
ofThe'Jow"^''' Knight of the Golden Fleece." I immediately 
Fleece. embraced his knees, and tried to express my 

gratitude and my extreme desire to render myself worthy of 


the favours bestowed upon me by my attachment, my very 
humble services, and profound respect. I then kissed his 
hand, and turned to call my children, who immediately 
came up to me. As soon as they approached I told the 
youngest to embrace the knees of the king, who loaded us 
with favours by making him a grandee of Spain with me. 
He kissed the king's hand, who said, as he raised him up, 
that he was very glad indeed for w^hat he had done. I then 
presented the eldest to thank him for the Fleece ; for this 
he merely bent very low indeed and kissed the king's hand. 
After that was over the king returned to the queen, where 
I followed him with my children. I bowed low before the 
queen, offering her my personal thanks ; then I presented 
my children, the youngest first, the eldest after. The queen 
received us with great kindness, saying many agreeable 
things ; after which she went away with the king, followed 
by the prince and princess, who held each other by the 
hand and to whom we bowed as they passed. I wished to 
accompany them, but I was, as it were, carried away by the 
crowd which pressed around me to make us compliments, 
I paid great attention to answering each in a suitable 
manner, and to all as politely as I possibly could ; and 
although I had not expected to receive these favours at this 
time, it seemed to me on reflection that this numerous com- 
pany were satisfied with me. I was anxious to testify to 
the grandees of Spain that all my life I had had so high an 
idea of their dignity that although I had the honour to be 
invested with the highest rank in the Kingdom of France, 
I thought myself greatly honoured in belonging to theirs. 

The Princess of the Asturias became unwell during the 
return of the Court to Madrid, at the latter part of the 
journey. Eed blotches appeared on her face which turned 
to erysipelas, and caused some fever. I went to the palace 


as soon as the Court arrived, where I found their Majesties 

much alarmed. I tried to reassvire them on the ground that 

the princess had akeady had both measles and 

The Princess of -^ 

the Asturias be- suiall-pox, and that it was not surprising she 

comes unwell. iiipiii i-j.- j; t 

should reel the latigue oi such a journey, 
and the total change of life that had happened to her. My 
arguments did not convince them, and the next day I found 
their uneasiness still greater. Besides which, the contretemps 
annoyed them greatly. All the prepared fetes had to be 
postponed. The Salon of the Grandees was already decorated 
for the grand ball, and it long remamed in that condition, 
for when the princess's convalescence began, and as it pro- 
ceeded, her temper showed itself. I knew from those who 
were with her in private that she obstinately refused to go 
to the queen, after all the care and the marks of extreme 
kindness and constant visits she had received from her dur- 
ing her illness, and still received daily. She would not even 
leave her bedroom, but amused herself looking out of the 
window, where she appeared in good health. The queen her- 
self spoke to me about it, and ordered me to see her and 
make her more tractable. 

I had already seen the princess several times during her 
illness, even in her bed ; and I now went again once or 
Extraordinary twicc, without getting morc than a yes or a no 
conduct of the ^q ^iUj qucstiou I askcd, and sometimes not 

princess towards 

the king and that. I tlicn took tlic tum of sayiug to her 

'^"^^"' ladies before her what I wished to say to her- 

self ; the ladies assisted me and added their word. The 
conversation thus went on before the princess, and was, in 
fact, a regular lesson, in which ' she took no part whatever. 
She did, however, go to see the queen once or twice, but in 
dishabille and with rather a bad grace. 

The grand ball was still prepared in the Salon of the 


Grandees and only waited for the princess to consent to go 
to it. The king and queen liked balls ; they made a great 
pleasure of this one, the Prince of the Asturias also ; in fact 
the whole Court awaited it impatiently. The conduct of the 
princess was beginning to transpire, and had a most injurious 
effect upon society. I was privately warned that the king 
and queen were very much provoked, and the princess's 
ladies urged me to speak to her. I went and held a conver- 
sation with her ladies about her health, which no longer 
retarded the pleasures and amusements that awaited her. 
I brought the ball on the tapis ; praised the arrangements, 
the scene, the magnificence, saying that this pleasure was 
particularly suited to the age of the princess, and how the 
king and queen loved her and were waiting with impatience 
until she could go. Suddenly she spoke, although I had not 
addressed her, and said, like a fretful child : " I, go to it ! I 
shall not go." " Well, madame," I said, " if you do not go 
you will be sorry ; you will deprive yourself of a pleasure, at 
which the whole Court expects to see you, and you have too 
many reasons to wish to please the king and queen to fail to 
do so on this occasion." 

She was seated, and had not looked at me. She now 
turned her head towards me, and said, in the most deter- 
mined tone of voice I ever heard : " No, monsieur, I repeat 
it, I shall not go to that ball ; the king and queen can go if 
they choose ; they like balls ; I do not like them ; they like 
to get up late and go to bed late ; I like to go to bed early. 
They can follow their tastes, and I shall follow mine." I 
began to laugh, and told her she wanted to amuse herself by 
making me uneasy, but that I was not so silly as to take 
such jesting seriously : at her age [thirteen], I said, nobody 
gave up a ball willingly ; and she had too much sense to 
deprive the Court of a pleasure, and above all, show a taste so 


little in conformity with that of the king and queeu. I 
added that after this joke was over it would be best not to 
prolong the delay, which was now becoming indecent. The 
ladies supported me, and the conversation went on between 
us in the same tone, without the princess giving any sign 
that she heard us. On leaving, the Duchesse de Monteillano 
followed me, with the Duchesse de Liria and Mme. de Eiscal- 
dalgro. They surrounded me outside the door of the cham- 
ber, and expressed their alarm at so stubborn a will against 
duty and pleasure in a girl of her age, in a country where 
she had just arrived, and all were strangers to her. I was 
just as much alarmed as they, foreseeing consequences capa- 
ble of producing great disasters. But I tried to reassure 
them on the ground of remaining illness and nervousness, 
that might produce this effect, which would cease with the 
return of perfect health. But I went away very far from 
expecting it. 

The next day I took the liberty of representing to their 
Majesties that they were spoiling the princess ; to which I 
added that they would some day repent of it, and try to 
remedy the evil when it was too late. I told them the Due 
d'Orl^ans would be in despair, and would speak to them in 
the same manner that I did, only more strongly, as became 
him ; that the princess was a mere child, who ought to be 
made without delay to submit to her duties ; and I would 
not only take upon myself to explain the matter to the Due 
d'OrMans, but I would answer for it to their Majesties that 
he would be extremely obliged to them for taking that 
course. I did not go again to see the princess, because I felt 
the inutility. The next day the queen told me there would 
be no grand ball, and that orders had been given to remove 
the decorations. But a small ball was given in the little 
interior gallery, at which no one was present but the sei- 


gueurs on duty, the chief equerry, the majordomos of the 
week, the earner ara-may or, the ladies of the palace, the 
young senoras-of-honour, and the cameristas. The king, 
queen, and Prince of the Asturias amused themselves very 
much, everybody danced minuets, and still more quadrilles, 
until three hours after midnight, when their Majesties and 
the prince retired. 

It was then that I saw and fingered at my ease the famous 

" Peregrine," which the king wore that evening on the 

turned-up brim of his hat, as a pendant to a 

The " Peregrine " ^ ^ 

an incomparable splendid diamond clasp. This pearl, of the 
finest water ever seen, is shaped and dented 
exactly like those little muscat pears which are called " seven- 
in-the-mouth," and come to maturity about the end of the 
strawberry season. That name indicates their size, though 
there is no mouth that could hold more than four without 
danger of choking. The pearl is the size of the smallest of 
those pears, is thick and long, and beyond comparison the 
finest in existence. It is unique. They say its mate was 
the one in Cleopatra's earring which a folly of love and 
magnificence induced Mark Antony to dissolve in vinegar 
and give to the queen to drink. Though the apartment of 
the Princess of the Asturias was at one end of the little 
gallery where the ball was given, she did not appear for an 
instant. I predicted only too truly to their Catholic Majes- 
ties. The princess behaved in aU respects, except gallantry, 
in the strangest fashion. After her return to France we 
had time to see what she was, during the years she lived 
there as a widow without children.^ 

1 In 1724 Philippe "V. resigned his government of Spain in favour of his 
son, Luis, Pj-ince of the Asturias. But the latter dying in the same year, 
he resumed it. The Princess of the Asturias, then called Queen of 
Spain, returned to France as a widow the following year, when the 
infanta was sent back to Spain on the treaty being signed at Vienna 


Lent put an end to what fetes there were ; and their Cath- 
olic Majesties left the palace and went to that of the Buen- 
Eetiro. Lent is very grievous in the Castiles. 

Lent ; very "^ ^ 

grievous in the Incrtness and distance from the sea result in 
a fish-market being unknown. The largest 
rivers have scarcely any fish ; the small ones still less, because 
they are torrents. There are few or no vegetables, except 
garlic, onions, cardoons, and a few herbs ; neither milk nor 
butter. They have salt-fish, which might be good if the oil 
were sweet ; but it is usually so rancid that the stench in- 
fects the streets of Madrid through Lent, which is kept by 
every one, young and old, men, women, seigneurs, bourgeois, 
and populace. One is therefore reduced to eggs cooked in 
every possible way, and chocolate, which is their great 
resource. But I tasted some buffalo milk at Aranjuez, which 
is most excellent, and by far the best of any. It is smooth, 
sweet, but not insipid ; thicker than the best cream, without 
any taste of the animal, or of cheese or butter. I am sur- 
prised that they make no use in Madrid of such a delicious 
milk product. Spaniards, though always very moderate, eat 
as much as we do, with taste, selection, and pleasure ; but as 
for drink they are very abstemious. 

I chose the 22nd of March for my audience to take leave 
of the king and queen ; and I was again struck with the 
,, , dimity, precision, and arrangement of the 

I take my au- o j ' jr ' o 

dience of leave king's cxpressious. I rcccivcd many marks 

March 22. i i • i 

of personal kindness and regret at my depart- 
ure from the king and queen, especially from the queen, and 
also very many from the Prince of the Asturias. The attach- 
ment full of respect and gratitude which I felt for the king 
and queen led me to do myself the honour of writing to them 

between Spain and Austria, wliilc England, France, and Prussia formed 
the "Hanover Treaty." — Tr. 


on several occasions, more especially to express my extreme 
grief at the sending back of the infanta.^ They often did 
me the honour to reply with every sort of kindness, and they 
always charged their new ministers in France, and persons of 
consideration who came to travel there, to renew the expres- 
sion of their kindness to me. 

But before starting I took another leave of a very different 
nature, and one so surprising that I cannot help writing 
Extraordinary it dowu, howevcr ridiculous it may seem. I 
thTpri^c^s of "^ent, with my whole suite, to an audience of 
the Asturias. tlic Priuccss of the Asturias, who was standing 
under a dais, with her ladies on one side and the grandees 
on the other. I made my three bows, and then my compli- 
ment. After which I was silent, but ui vain, for she an- 
swered not a word. After a few moments' silence I thought 
I would furnish her with something to answer ; so I asked 
for her orders for the king, the infanta, Madame, the regent, 
and the Duchesse d'Orleans. She looked at me, and then 
gave vent to a hiccough that resounded through the room. 
My surprise was such that I stood confounded. A second, 
noisier than the first, went off. I lost countenance ; impos- 
sible to help laughing ; and casting my eyes right and left I 
saw the whole company with their hands on their mouths 
and their shoulders going. Fmally, a third, louder than the 
other two, put all present into disorder and me to flight 
with my whole suite amid peals of laughter, all the more 
incontinent because they forced the barriers by which each 
had tried to suppress them. Spanish gravity was wholly 
upset ; confusion reigned ; every one, choking with laughter, 
fled as he could, while the princess never lost her stohdity or 

1 April 5, 1725, M. le Due, then prime minister, sent back to Spain 
the youncj infanta, who was being educated in Paris to be the wife of 
Louis XV. since her arrival in 1722. — Te. 


expressed herself in any other fashion. We all stopped in the 
next room to laugh at our ease and to talk of it freelj. 

I left Madrid on the 24th of March, taking the route by 

Pampeluna, and arrived at Loches on the 13th of April at 

., . .. five in the evening: and on the 15th at ten in 

I leave Madnd ; "-^ 

and meet Mme. the moming I reached Chastres, where Mme. 
de Saint-Simon was to meet me to dine and 
sleep, that we might enjoy the happiness of being once more 
together and mutually put each other au fait of everything 
in solitude and freedom, which we could not hope for 
in Paris during the first days after my return. The Due 
d'Humicres and Louville came with her. She arrived an 
hour after I did at the little chateau of the Marquis d'Arpajon, 
which he had lent her, where the day seemed short indeed. 

On my arrival in Paris I merely changed carriages at my 
house and drove to the Palais-Eoyal and went straight to 
Long interview Cardinal Dubois. He rushed to meet me, all 
theTrenTanT'^ flattery, and without pausing took me at once 
Cardinal Dubois, ^o tlic regent, whosc rcccptiou was just as 
warm and more sincere. He was in his little cabinet at 
the end of the short gallery. We sat down, I opposite to 
him, his desk between us, the cardinal beside it. I rendered 
them an account of many things, and answered many ques- 
tions. I told the Due d'Orldans of the conduct of the Prin- 
cess of the Asturias to their Catholic Majesties, of their 
patience and kindness towards her; after which grave mat- 
ters, I amused him with an account of my parting with her, 
at which he laughed much. 

I had scarcely arrived at home before it became neces- 
sary to conclude a marriage which had been proposed to 
Marriage of my me for my daughter before I went to Spain. 
pn"nce^de*° ^^^ There are some women so made that they are 
chimay. happier to remain unmarried with the income 


of the dot that would have been given to them. Mnie. de 
Saint-Simon and I had reason to believe that our daughter 
was one of these women, and we wished to treat her in that 
way, but my mother thought otherwise, and she was accus- 
tomed to decide. The Prince de Chimay, in wishing to marry 
my daughter, misled himself by chimeras as to the position in 
which he saw me. Before going to Spain I disguised noth- 
ing from him either of what I thought, or of the very small 
foundation of that which had induced him to seek this mar- 
riage. I did not wish to settle it until after my return, in 
order to leave him time for reflection and for cooling his ardour 
during my absence ; but he did not cease to urge his suit on 
Mme. de Saint-Simon, nor she to discourage it. As soon as 
I returned his urgency increased, so that it was necessar}^ at 
last to conclude the marriage, which took place at Meudon 
with as little ceremony and company as was possible. His 
name was Hennin-Li^tard, and his father and mother were 
known, under the name of Comte and Comtesse de Bossut, 
by their alliances, their immense property in the Low- 
Countries, and by the high offices which they held under 
Charles V. and since that time. Their hobby was to think 
they belonged to the ancient house of Alsace, although their 
own was of sufficiently illustrious antiquity not to need 
being plastered with fables. He was a very well-made man 
with a very agreeable face, and an air and manner that 
breathed the great seigneur, which he was, in the possession 
of large and very fine estates, though most of them had 
long been under control of assignees. He was, moreover, a 
man without system, who with a good mind and the best 
sentiments, governed himself and his affairs very badly and 
was full of fancies and chimeras. The Duchesse Sforza, 
with whom he was very intimate at the time of his first 
marriage, predicted to me all that I found him in the end. 


It was determined about this time that the king should 
abandon his residence in Paris forever, and that the Court 
The Court should in future be held at Versailles. The 

returns per- j^- ^j^jyg^j there in state on the 15th of 

manently to o 

Versailles. June, and the infanta on the following day. 

They occupied the apartments of the late king and the late 
queen, and the Mar^chal de Villeroy established himself in 
one of the former cabinets of Louis XIV. Cardinal Dubois 
had the entire and sole charge of everything, as M. Colbert 
had had it, and after him M. Louvois. He was following 
with great strides his settled project of becoming prime- 
minister, for which purpose he isolated the Due d'Orl^ans 
as much as he could. 

The famous Marlborough died in London June 27, at 
nearly seventy-four years of age, — the richest private in- 
Deathofthe dividual in Europe, but without male heirs. 

Duke of Marl- His sistcr was mother to the Duke of Ber- 
wick and had made him Earl of Marlborough 
and captain of the guards of James II. He belonged to 
the inferior nobility and was very poor. His name was 
John Churchill, and he became the Duke of Marlborough, 
peer of England, captain-general of the armies, grand- 
master of artillery, colonel of the first regiment of the 
guards, knight of the Order of the Garter, and the most 
successful captain of his era. His life, his actions, his for- 
tunes are too well known to need mention here. His 
victory at Hochstedt made him Prince of the Empire and 
of Mindelheim, — an estate of which the emperor made him 
a present. To perpetuate the memory of it, he caused to 
be built in England a superb castle, to which he gave the 
name of Plentheim [Blenheim], a village where thirty-six 
battalions surrendered to him without waiting to be at- 
tacked. The honours of his obsequies and their magnifi- 
VOL. IV. — 22 


cence equalled, or very nearly so, those of the kings of 
England. He was buried at Westminster in the chapel of 
Henry VII. ; but this honour is not rare in England. About 
three years earlier an attack of apojjlexy had so enfeebled 
him that he wept almost without ceasing and was no longer 
capable of anything. 

Sunday, August 11, the regent went towards the end of the 
afternoon to work with the king, as he was accustomed to 
Mare'chai de do ou Certain fixcd days of the week, and now, 

to'obey the"^^^ as it was summcr, on the king's return from 
regent. jjjg (Jrivc, wMch was always early. This work 

consisted of showing the king the distribution of vacant 
offices, benefices, certain magistracies, superintendencies, and 
rewards of all kinds ; in explaining to him in a few words 
the reasons for these selections, preferences, and, sometimes, 
distributions of money ; and, lastly, in telling him the earli- 
est foreign news when there was any suited to his capacity, 
before it became public. At the end of this work, at which 
the Mar^chal de Villeroy was always present, and M. de 
Frejus occasionally ventured to remain, the Due d'Orl^ans 
entreated the king to be so good as to go with him into his 
little back-cabinet, as he had a word to say to him tUe-h- 
tete. Mardchal de Villeroy instantly opposed it. The Due 
d'Orl^ans replied civilly that the king was entering an age 
so near to that in which he would govern for himself that 
it was time for him, who meantime was the trustee of the 
king's authority, to render him an account of matters which 
he was now able to understand, and which could only be 
explained to him alone without the presence of a third 
party, however deserving of confidence that party might 
be ; and he requested the marechal to cease putting ob- 
stacles in the way of a thing so necessary, which he, the 
regent, blamed himself for having postponed, solely out of 


consideration for him. The mardchal, getting fiery and f 
shaking his wig, replied that he knew the respect he owed ( 
to the regent quite as well as he knew what he owed 
to the king and to his own office, whereby he was made 
responsible for the king's person ; and he protested that 
he would not allow his Koyal Highness to see the kmg 
alone, because it was his place to know all that was said 
to him ; and especially he would not allow it alone in a 
room out of his sight, because his duty required him not 
to lose sight of the king for a moment, and in all ways 
to be answerable for his person. At these words the Due 
d'Orlt^ans looked at him fixedly, and said, m the tone of 
a master, that he forgot himself; he ought to consider 
to whom he was speaking and the force of his words, 
which he was willing to beheve he did not mean ; adding 
that respect for the presence of the king prevented him, the 
regent, from replying as he deserved or carrying the conver- 
sation any farther. With that he made the king a profound 
bow and went away. The mar^chal, very angry, accompan- 
ied him a few steps, muttering and gesticulating, without the 
regent seeming to see or hear him, leaving the king aston- 
ished and Fr^jus chuckhng under his breath. 

Less than two hours later it was known that the mar^chal, ] 
bragging of what he had done, declared that he should es- 
teem himself very unfortunate if the Due d'Orl^ans thought 
he was wanting in respect when he was only seeking to ful- 
fil his most precious duty, and he should go to the regent 
the next morning and come to an understanding with him, 
which he flattered himself would satisfy that prince. Mean- 
time all necessary steps were being taken to arrest him ; and 
the last form was given to them when it became known the 
next morning that the mar^chal intended to run straight 
into the net. 


Beyond the regent's bedroom at Versailles was a large 
and handsome cabinet, with four windows looking on the 
garden and at the same level with it, — two facing you as 
you enter, and two at the side, and all these opening like 
doors from the ceiling to the floor. This cabinet formed a 
corner room, where the people of the Court always waited, 
and adjoining it was another cabinet where the regent 
worked, and where he received, from the waiting-room, the 
most distinguished or favoured persons who wished to speak 
to him. Orders were given. D'Artagnan, captain of the 
gray mousquetaires, was in this room, knowing well what 
was now to be done, with many trusty officers of his com- 
pany whom he had brought there, together with certain 
former mousquetaires in case of need ; they all saw by these 
preparations that something was about to happen, though 
no one suspected what it was. There were also a number 
of light-horse cavalry scattered around under the windows, 
all in the same ignorance, and many principal officers and 
others in the regent's bedroom and in this large cabinet. 

All being thus arranged, Mardchal de Villeroy arrived 
about mid-day with his usual bustle, but alone ; his sedan- 
is arrested and chair and servants were left at a distance 
taken to Villeroy. Qutsidc of the guardroom. He entered the- 
atrically, paused, gazed about him, and made a few steps 
forward. Under pretence of civility d'Artagnan and the 
others grouped themselves about him, and surrounded him. 
He asked in a tone of authority what the regent was 
doing. They replied that he was busy and his door was 
shut. The mar^chal raised his voice, said he must see him, 
and should go in ; and with that he advanced. La Fare, 
captain of tlie guards of the Due d'Orl^ans, came forward 
in front of him, stopped him and asked for his sword. The 
mardchal became furious, and all present were excited. At 


that instant Le Blanc presented himself. A sedan-chair 
which had been kept hidden was placed before the marechal. 
He shouted, tottered, was thrown into the chair, which was 
closed upon him and carried off in a twinkling through one 
of the windows into the garden. La Fare and d'Artagnan 
on either side of the chair, the mousquetaires and cavalry 
falling in behind, and only knowing by results what had 
happened. The pace was rapid ; they descended the steps of 
the orangery on the side of the grove, found the great gates 
open and a carriage with six horses outside. The chair was 
set down beside it ; in vain the marechal cursed and swore ; 
they put him into it, dArtagnan jumped in beside him, an 
officer of mousquetaires was on the front seat, du Libois, 
gentleman-in-ordinary to the king, beside him, twenty 
mousquetaires with their officers on horseback surrounded 
the carriage, and — whip up, cocker ! 

It is surprising that an affair of this nature remained un- 
known for more than two hours in the chateau of Versailles, 
The servants of the marechal, to whom no one had said a 
word on leaving, I scarcely know why, waited with his 
chair near the guardroom ; and those who were in his apart- 
ment behind the king's cabinet only heard of his arrest 
after the regent had seen the king, when he sent them word 
that the marechal had gone to Villeroy, where they could 
follow and take him all that was necessary. 

It was no small embarrassment to the Due d'Orl^ans 
to carry the news to the king. He entered his cabinet, 
sent away the courtiers who were there, leaving no one 
present but those on duty. At his first words the king 
flushed, his eyes filled with tears, he turned his face to the 
back of his chair and did not say a word, neither would he 
leave the room or play. He scarcely ate a mouthful at 
supper, and wept and could not sleep all night. The morn- 


iiig and dinner of the next day, 14th, were no better. That 
day, as I was finishmg dinner at Meudon, having a great 
many guests, I received a courier from Cardinal Dubois, 
with a letter conjuring me to come at once to him at 
Versailles and bring some trusty person who could be sent 
post haste to La Trappe ; and not to crack my brains in 
guessing what that meant, because it was impossible to 
guess it, and he was waiting with the utmost impatience to 
tell me. I sent for my carriage at once and thought it very 
long in coming from the stables. 

When I reached the cardinal's quarters I saw him watch- 
ing for me at the window and making signs to me, and I 
The king much fouud him at the foot of the stairs ready to 
distressed. Ex- meet me. He told me, as we went up, about 

traordinary dis- 
appearance the king's tears, greatly increased by the 

^^^^^' unaccountable absence of M. de Frdjus, who 

had disappeared, and had not slept at Versailles, and no 
one knew what had become of him, except that he was not 
at Villeroy nor on the road, because messengers had just 
brought news from there. He went on to say that this 
disappearance had put the king in despair and themselves 
into cruel perplexity ; they did not know what to think of 
this sudden withdrawal, unless it was that Fr^jus had gone 
to hide himself at La Trappe ; and for that reason he wanted 
me to send and see if he was there. Dubois took me 
straight to the regent. We found him alone, in great dis- 
tress, walking up and down his cabinet. He told me at 
once that he did not know what to do with the king, who 
cried for M. de Fr^jus and would not listen to a single 
word ; and with that the regent declaimed against so strange 
a flight. 

Dubois urged me to write to La Trappe. Everything was 
so in confusion in the regent's apartments ; all were talking 


at once in his cabinet ; impossible in such a racket to write 
at his desk, as I usually did when alone with him ; my o\vn 
apartment was away in the new wing, and probably closed, 
as I was not expected on that day. The quickest thing was 
to go up to Pezd's room, which was directly above the queen's 
apartment, and there I began to write. My letter was just 
finished when Pez^ rushed in, exclaimmg, " He is found ! 
he is found ! Your letter is useless ; come back to the Due 
d'Orldans at once." Then he told me that some one who 
knew that Frdjus was a friend of the Lamoignons had met 
Courson [son of President Lamoignon] in the great court- 
yard, and asked him if he had any idea what had become 
of Fr^jus ; Courson replied he did not know why they 
should trouble about that, for Fr^jus had only gone out to 
sleep at Baville, where President Lamoignon was staying. 

Serenity had returned to the regent's cabinet by the time 
we reached it ; Fr^jus was well mauled, and after discussing 
his prank for a time, the regent went to tell the good news 
to the king, while I awaited his return with Cardinal Dubois, 
who then told me they had news of Villeroy. He had 
never ceased shouting about the assault committed on his 
person, the audacity of the regent, the insolence of him, 
Dubois ; nor did he stop abusing d'Artagnan the whole way 
for lending himself to such criminal violence. After which 
he invoked the manes of the late king, exalting the con- 
fidence he had placed in him, the importance of the office 
for which he had preferred him, Villeroy, to all the world, 
the uprising this bold step would cause in Paris and the 
kingdom, the scandal created in foreign countries ; after 
which came deplorings of the fate of the king and the 
kingdom, outbursts, invectives, self-applause for his services, 
his fidehty, his firmness, his unvarying devotion to duty. 
In short, he was a man so astonished, confounded, and full 


of spite and wrath that he did not possess himself for a 

The Due d'OrMans, on his return from the king, told us 
that the news had greatly pacitied him ; on which we con- 
cluded that when Frejus returned in the 

The king consoled i i i • i • 

by the return of moming the regcut had better receive hirn 
^^^j"^- well, take his escapade in good part, cajole 

him, and tell him it was only to spare liim that the secret 
of Villeroy's arrest was not imparted to him; and explain 
the necessity of the step, which was all the more easy be- 
cause Frejus hated the mar^chal, his insolence, his jealousy, 
his caprices, and rejoiced in soul at his banishment and the 
opportunity of himself possessing the king at his ease. The 
mardchal was left some five or six days at Villeroy, to exhale 
and calm down, after which, as he had no dangerous talents 
away from the king, he was sent to Lyon and allowed to ex- 
ercise his limited functions as governor of the town and 
province, measures being taken of course to watch him 
closely, leaving du Libois near him to blunt his author- 
ity with an air of supervision which took away from it all 
influence. But his first fury was spent ; this total removal 
from Paris and the Court, where not only was there no stir 
in his behalf, but there was even terror and stupor at an act 
of this importance, left him without hope, subdued his pas- 
sion, and induced him to behave with wisdom in order to 
avoid more grievous treatment. 

Such was the fall of a man who was far below the sta- 
tions he had filled ; who showed his clay in all of them ; 
who put audacity and vain imagmations in the place of 
prudence and sound judgment; who behaved everywhere 
like a frivolous comedian, and whose profound and univer- 
sal ignorance (except of the low arts of a courtier) was 
always allowing the thin crust of virtue and integrity with 


which he plastered his ingratitude, his mad ambition, his 
thirst for making himself a leader in spite of his weakness 
and terrors, for holding the helm of which he was radically 
incapable, to crack and show the man. It is enough to 
say here that he never raised himself after this fall, and 
that the rest of his hfe was only bitterness, regrets, and 
contempt. He had persuaded the king — and I shall give 
proofs of this if I have the time to complete these Memoirs 
as I propose — he had, I say, persuaded the king that he 
alone, by his vigilance and his precautions, preserved the 
king's Hfe, which others were seeking to destroy by poison. 
This was the reason of the king's tears when he was taken 
from him, and of his well-nigh despair when Fr^jus 

Fr^jus' prompt return dissipated half these fears, and the 
continuance of his own good health delivered the king, httle 
by little, of the rest. Fr^jus, who had so great an interest in 
preserving it, neglected nothing to remove from his mind 
such fatal ideas, and to let the venom fall on those who 
invented or inspired them. In this way he vised the best 
means to protect himself agamst a return of the mar^chal 
and to attach the king to himself without reserve ; of which 
we have since felt but too well the tremendous success. 

On one of my ordinary days with the Due d'Orl^ans I 

went from Meudon to Versailles at four o'clock, the hour 

when the regent had no one with him. After 

Singular conver- „ . £ i .• t ^ • ^ 

sation between a icw momcuts 01 general conversation I laid 
Indm^e"'^ °'''^^ upou his dcsk the papers about which I had 
to report. He sat at the desk and I opposite 
to him, as usual. I found him preoccupied, absent-minded, 
making me repeat things, — he, who usually understood 
them before they were half explained. Tliis wandering of 
his mind was so unusual that I linalLy asked him the 


cause. He hesitated, stammered, and would not explain 
it. I smiled, and asked if it was something I had heard 
whispered about his thinking of making Cardinal Dubois 
prime minister. The question appeared to me to reheve 
him ; his air seemed freer and more serene ; and he told 
me it was true that Cardinal Dubois was dying of a de- 
sire to get that place ; that as for him, he was tired to 
death of business and the constraint he was under to 
spend all his evenings at Versailles ; that in Paris he could 
at least amuse himself with his suppers and his com- 
pany, who were always at hand ; but to have his brains 
cracking all day long with business only to spend his eve- 
nings in being bored was more than he could stand ; and he 
was inclined to throw the burden on a prime minister, who 
would give him some rest in the daytime and liberty to 
amuse himself in Paris. I laughed and assured him I 
thought that a most excellent reason to which there was 
no reply. He saw that I was twitting him, and said I did 
not feel the burden of his days, nor the dreadful void of his 
evenings, and the horrible ennui of spending them with the 
Duchesse d'OrMans, where he did not know what to do with 

He had the patience to listen to what I said to him and I 
thought I had produced an effect. After a short silence he 
sat bolt upright on his chair and exclaimed: "I'll go and 
plant cabbages at Villers-Cotterets ; " and with that he got 
up and began to walk up and down the cabinet, and I with 
him. I asked him what assurance he had that he would be 
allov/ed to plant them in peace, or even safety ; I told him 
every one would pick quarrels with his administration, 
scheme dangerous plots and alarm the king, if a prince of 
his mind, value, and capacity, who could not be removed 
by any hand, removed himself because he was irritated and 


disgusted with his present state. He made a few turns 
more in silence ; after which he owned it required reflec- 
tion ; and then he began to walk again. 

Presently, finding himself against the wall, at the corner 

of his desk, where there happened to be two stools, — I see 

the place still, — he pulled me by the arm 

Dubois well- •*■ 

known to his upon ouc and sat down himself upon the 

master; incred- _ -, , • , e i i j 

ib!e weakness of othcr, and tummg to face me, he asked 
the regent. vehemently if I did not remember the time 

when Dubois was valet to Saint-Laurent, and thankful to 
be so ; and from that he went over all the steps and divers 
degrees of Dubois' rise till he came to the present day, and 
then he cried out : " And he is not content ; he persecutes 
me to make him prime minister ; and I am very sure that 
when he is that he won't be satisfied, and what can he be 
higher than that ? " adding, as if replying to himself, " God 
the Father if he could." " Most assuredly," I replied, " you 
can count on that ; and it is for you, monsieur, who know 
him so well, to see whether you want to be his stepping- 
stone to mount above your head." " Oh ! I should prevent 
that," he replied, and again he walked about, without saying 
more ; neither did I, so occupied was I with that " I should 
prevent that," at the end of a conversation so earnest and 
his passionate recital of the life of Cardinal Dubois ah in- 
cunahulis, which up to this time I had given no occasion 
for. This last promenade lasted some time, still in silence, 
he, with his head lowered, as was usual with him when 
embarrassed and pained, I, as having said all and waiting 
until he should break the silence. At last he sat down 
again at his desk, I seated opposite as before ; he with his 
elbows on the desk and his head between his two hands. 
He remained thus half a quarter of an hour, without stir- 
ring, without opening his lips, and I the same, though I did 


not take my eyes off him. It ended by his raising his 
head, without otherwise moving, advancing it towards me, 
and saying in a low, weak, ashamed voice : " Why wait 
and not declare it at once ? " Such was the fruit of the 
conversation ! I cried out : " Oh ! monsieur, what a thing 
to say ! What is urging you so hard ? There is time 
enough. Take time for reflection on what we have just 
said. Let me explain to you what a prime minister is, 
and the prmce who makes him one." He gently put his 
head back into his hands and said nothing. I felt then 
that the salvation of the matter, if indeed it could be hoped, 
lay not in reasons, which were all exhausted, but solely in 
delay. Presently, after a short silence, he rose and said : 
" Ho, then ! come back to-morrow at three o'clock precisely 
and argue the thing over once more ; we shall have time." 
I took the papers I was to cany away and went out ; he 
ran after me and called me back to say : " To-morrow at 
three o'clock ; I entreat you, don't fail," and shut the door. 
The next day, August 22, I kept the appointment. I 
found him alone in his cabinet, walking about with an 
Another strange casicr air than the day before. " Well," he 

conversation . , t . j i • ^^ i j_ 

between the ^^^^^ ^^ ^°°^^ ^^ -'- Weut Up tO llim, Wliat 

regent and me. morc Can wc Say about tlic affair of yester- 
day ? It seems to me that all is said, and there is nothing 
to do but to declare the prime minister at once." I recoiled 
two steps, saying that for a step of such importance it was 
hasty action. He answered that he had thought it over 
well ; that all that I had said to him was in his mind ; 
but the end was that he was worn-out with business every 
day, with ennui every evening, with the persecutions of 
Cardinal Dubois every instant. His walk continued for 
seven or eight turns more, and then he seated himself at 
his desk in the same attitude as the night before, and I 


opposite, the desk between us. [Again the arguments were 
gone over.] A rather long silence succeeded this strong 
statement. The regent's head, still between his hands 
had dropped almost to the desk. He raised it at last and 
looked at me with a dreary, gloomy air ; then he lowered 
his eyes, it seemed to me in shame, and remained for some 
time longer in that position. At last he rose and made 
several turns about the room, still saying nothing. What 
was my horror and confusion when he broke that silence ! 
He stopped, turned half towards me without raising his 
eyes, and said, suddenly, in a low, sad voice : " There must 
be an end to this ; nothing can be done but declare it 
instantly." " Monsieur," I said, " you are good and wise, 
and, above all, the master. Have you any commands for 
Meudon ? " I made him a bow, and left the room instantly, 
as he cried out : " But shall I not see you again soon ? " I 
made him no answer and shut the door. Then I fled to 
Meudon to exhale at my ease. 

Towards the close of this year the famous Princesse des 

Ursins died in Kome, where she had settled for the last 

six vears, preferring to govern there the little 

Death of the J ' r o o 

Princesse des Court of England than not to govern at all. 
ursms. gj^^ ^^^ eighty-five years old, still fresh, erect, 

with grace and charm; her health perfect until the rather 
long illness of which she died; her head and intellect as 
good as at sixty, and she herself much honoured in Eome. 
She had the satisfaction of seeing Mme. de Maintenon for- 
gotten and become a mere nobody at Saint-Cyr, and then to 
survive her. Her own death, which, had it happened a 
few years earlier, would have echoed throughout all Europe, 
made no sensation. The little Court of England regretted 
her, also a few private friends, of whom I was one without 
concealment, although, on account of the Due d'0rl(5ans, I 


did not keep up my correspondence with her ; as for other 
persons, they did not seem to be aware that she was gone. 
She was, however, a person so extraordinary throughout 
the whole course of her long Hfe, and one who figured so 
grandly and strangely, though in diverse manners, whose 
spirit, courage, industry, and resources were so rare, and 
her reign so absolute and so undisguised in Spain, her 
character so sustained and so unique, that her life deserves 
to be written and would hold a place among the most 
curious records of the history of our times. 

The world of letters lost Dacier about the same time, who 
had made himself notable by his works and his erudition. 
Death of Dacier ; He was scventy-onc ycars old, an author and 
his wife. translator in charge of the king's books, which 

made him well-known and esteemed by the whole Court. 
His wife, who was far more solidly learned than himself, 
had been most useful to him, and was frequently consulted 
by savants in Greek and Latin belles-lettres, in antiquities, 
and in criticism. She left behind her a number of fine 
works. But she was only learned in her cabinet with 
learned people ; elsewhere she was simple, unaffected, agree- 
able and witty in conversation, but no one would have 
guessed that she knew more than ordinary women, with 
whom she could talk fashions and all the other trifles of 
common intercourse with simphcity and naturalness, as 
though she were not capable of better things. She died in 
the deepest sentiments of piety in 1720, aged sixty-eight; 
her husband two years later. 

Madame, whose health had all her life been extremely 

strong and unvarying, had not felt well for some time past 

and of late had been so ill as to be convinced 

Death of Ma- 
dame ; her she was about to fall into some malady from 

which she should never recover. We have 


seen hovv^, on the death of Monsieur, she had taken as her 
ladies the Mar^chale de Cldrembault and the Comtesse de 
Beuvron, whom she had always loved, and whom Monsieur 
had driven out of the house because he hated them. The 
Mardchale de Cldrembault believed she had a great knowl- 
edge of the future through the science of little dots, but as, 
thank God, I do not know what that is, I shall not explain 
the operation, in which, however, Madame had implicit 
faith. She consulted the mar^chale therefore about her 
going to Eeims for the king's coronation ; the mar^chale 
answered firmly : "Go, madame, in all security ; I am per- 
fectly welL" This meant that she had learned from the 
little dots that she should die before Madame ; strong in 
that confidence Madame went to Eeims. But on her 
return from the coronation, she lost the Mar^chale de 
Cl^rembault, who died in Paris, November 27, in her 
eighty-ninth year, having up to that time had perfect 
health, her mind, faculties, and the use of all her senses 
as at forty. 

Madame was all the more grieved at the loss of her old 
and intimate friend because she knew that though the httle 
dots had always predicted she should survive her, it would 
be only for a very short time. And in point of fact, she 
followed her very closely. Dropsy set in, and made in a 
very few days such progress that she prepared for death, 
with great firmness and piety. She desired to have the 
former Bishop of Troyes, brother of the Mar^chale de Cl^- 
rerabault, constantly near her, and said to him : " M. de 
Troyes, this is a very strange game the mar^chale and I 
have played." The king went to see her, and she received 
all the sacraments. She died at Saint-Cloud on the 8th of 
December, at four in the morning, aged seventy-one years. 

Madame was a princess of the olden time, — attached to 


honour, virtue, rank, grandeur, and inexorable as to their 
observances. She was not without intellect ; and what she 
saw she saw very clearly. A good and faithful friend, safe, 
true, upright ; easy to shock and prejudice, difficult to recall 
from a prejudice ; coarse ; dangerous in her public attacks ; 
very German in her manners and customs, frank, ignorant 
of all deUcacy for herself or others, sober, sohtary, and full 
of notions. She loved dogs and horses, hunting and theatres 
passionately ; she was never seen except in full dress, or in 
a man's wig and riding-habit, and was more than sixty years 
old before, well or ill (but she never was the latter), she 
had a wrapper. She loved the regent passionately, also her 
own nation and all her relatives, though she had never seen 
them. She spent her life after Monsieur's death in writing 
to them. She esteemed, pitied, and almost loved the Du- 
chesse d'Orl^ans, whom she treated very well both before and 
after the dismissal of Mme. d'Argenton. She blamed the 
disorderly hfe of the Due d'Orl^ans and was supremely in- 
dignant at that of the Duchesse de Berry ; about which she 
sometimes unbosomed herself with the utmost bitterness 
and perfect confidence to Madame de Saint-Simon, who, 
from the first of her coming to Court, had found grace in 
her esteem and friendship, which never varied. Madame 
was, in all respects, more of a man than a woman. She 
was strong, courageous, German to the last degree, frank, 
upright, good, and benevolent, noble and grand in her 
manners, but petty to excess in all that related to what 
was due to her. She was very unsociable, constantly shut 
up in her room and writing, save for the short hours of 
her Court; the rest of her time she spent alone with her 
ladies. She was hard, rude, ready to take dishkes ; terrible 
for the tirades she would sometimes make, and to any one, 
no matter who. She had no pliancy, no readiness of mind, 


though, as I have said, she was not without intellect. She 
was jealous to the utmost pettiness of all that she consid- 
ered her rights ; her face and figure were those of a rustic. 
Yet she was withal capable of a tender and inviolable afi'ec- 
tion. The Due d'Orleans loved her and respected her much, 
and did not leave her during her illness ; he had always paid 
her great attentions, but was never influenced by her. He 
was greatly afflicted. I passed several hours with him at 
Versailles on the day after her death, and I saw him weep 

1 The letters of Elizabeth-Charlotte of Bavaria, Princess Palatine and 
Duchesse d'Orleans, addressed chiefly to her relations, have been pub- 
lished and are among tJie most valuable records of that time ; a selection 
from them will be found in the 7th volume of this series of Historical 
Memoirs. — Tr. 

VOL. IV. — 23 


This year, 1723, the end of which is the limit I have 

prescribed for these Memoirs, will not have the amphtude 

or the details of its predecessors. My heart 
„ ... ^ ^ was wrung to see the regent under the lash 

Sterility of the ° ° 

narrative of this of his uuworthy minister, not daring to do 

year ; its cause. , . . , , . . ....,, 

anything without liim or against his vmi ; tne 
State a prey to the selfish interests, the greed, the madness 
of that unfortunate man, and without a remedy. What- 
ever experience I had of the Due d'Orl^ans' amazing weak- 
ness, it seemed to me monstrous that he should have made 
that man prime minister after what I had said to him, 
after what he had said to me, and after his o^vn statement 
that he viewed the matter himself as I did, all of which I 
have related in its place with the most exact veracity. I 
no longer approached that poor prince, of so many great 
and useful talents buried, without repugnance ; I could not 
help feeling about him as the wicked Israehtes said to 
each other in the desert about the manna : Nauseat anima 
mea super cihum istum levissimum. I no longer deigned 
to speak to him. He saw it and I felt that he was pained 
by it ; he tried to bring me back to him though never 
daring to speak to me of public affairs except lightly and 
always with constraint, and yet not able to keep himself 
entirely from doing so. I scarcely took pains to answer him, 
and I ended such topics as soon as I could ; I shortened and 
delayed my audiences ; I listened coldly to his reproaches. 
And truly, what could I have to say or to discuss with a 


regent who was not one at all, not even of himself, far less 
of the kingdom, which was now in disorder ? 

Whenever Cardinal Dubois met me he almost paid court 
to me. The ties of all times and without interruption were 
so strong between the Due d'Orl^ans and myself that the 
prime minister, having tested them more than once, dared 
not flatter himself that he could break them. His resource 
was to disgust me by impelling his master to a reserve with 
me that was wholly new between us. But it cost the regent 
more than it did me, because of the habit, I shall even ven- 
ture to say the utility, this confidence had been to him ; 
whilst I could more readily give it up, from the vexation I 
felt at seeing no fruit of it for the good of the State, or for 
the honour and welfare of the regent, now wholly delivered 
up to his pleasures in Paris and abandoned to his minister. 
The conviction of my perfect uselessness made me retire 
more and more, without ever having the faintest suspicion 
that a contrary course would be dangerous to me, or that, 
weak and abandoned as the regent was to Cardinal Dubois, 
the latter could ever succeed in getting me exiled like the 
Due de Noailles and Canillac, or that he could ever make 
me feel such disgust that I should exile myself. I contin- 
ued, therefore, my customary life ; that is to say, I never saw 
the Due d'Orleans except tete-li-tete ; but I saw him less and 
less, and always coldly, briefly, without giving an opening 
for the mention of public affairs, turning them aside if he 
broached them, or replying in a manner that quickly dropped 
them. With such conduct and such strong feeliDgs, it will 
readily be seen that I could be and do nothing ; and there- 
fore what I have to relate of this year will have less of the 
curious and instructive interest of good and faithful memoirs, 
and more of the dryness and sterility of the facts of a 


February the 19th the king received at Versailles the re- 
spects of the Due d'Orl^ans and all the Court on his majority,^ 
The king attains and he then declared the choice of three new 

his majority. ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ . ;g- ^.^^^ ^^^-^ ^^^^ ^^ VaUierC, 

cousin of the Princesse de Conti. The next day the king 
went in state to Paris, to the Tuileries ; and on the 22nd he 
went to parliament and held his lit de justice for the declara- 
tion of his majority and the reception of the three new dukes 
and peers. The session ended by the registration of a new 
edict against duels, which were again becoming frequent. 
On the 23rd the king received at the Tuileries the harangues 
of the great societies, and those of all other bodies that are 
accustomed to harangue. 

The Council of Eegency came to an end. The new Coun- 
cil of State was composed of only the Due d'Orlt^ans, 
The Council of ^^^® "^^^ ^^ Chartrcs, M. le Due, Cardinal 
Regency ends ; Dubois, and MorviUe, secretary of State, until 

the Council of 

State takes its thcu without fuuctions, to whom Cardinal 
^^'^^' Dubois turned over his office of secretary of 

State and the department of foreign affairs. 

It was now some time since the Comte de Toulouse had' 
taken a fancy to the Marquise de Gondrin at the Baths of 
Bourbon, where they had met and seen much of each other. 
She was the sister of the Due de Noailles, whom he neither 
liked nor esteemed, and widow, with two sons, of the eldest 
son of the Due d' Antra, with whom the Comte de Toulouse 
had always had much intercourse of a proper and becoming 
kind because they were both sons of Mme. de Montespan. 
Mme. de Gondrin had been lady of the palace during the 
last months of the dauphine's life ; she was young, gay, 
and thoroughly Noailles, her bust very beautiful, her face 

1 Louis XV. was born Feb. 10, 1710, and was therefore thirteen years 
old ; Rigaud's portrait of him was painted at this time — Tii. 


agreeable, and she had never made any one talk of her. The 
affair led on, ua the greatest secrecy, to marriage. The bet- 
ter to conceal that event the Comte de Tou- 

Marnage of 

the Comte de lousc took the occasion of the lit de justice on 

Toulouse. . , 

the king's majority, from which he was ex- 
cluded, because the bastards could no longer cross the floor, 
and for that reason they would not go to parliament. Neither 
did the Cardinal de Koailles, because his purple would have 
had to yield precedence to the peers-ecclesiastical. The 
Mar^chale de Noailles went alone with her daughter to the 
archbishop's palace, where the Comte de Toulouse went also, 
alone with d'O. The cardinal said mass and married them 
in his chapel, on leaving which they all returned as they 
came. Nothing transpired about this wedding, and people 
were long without even suspecting it, all the more because 
the Comte de Toulouse was supposed to be very far indeed 
from marrying. 

About this time the plague, which had so long devastated 
Provence, stopped entirely, so that the barriers were raised, 
commerce re-established, thanksgivings were offered publicly 
in all the churches of the kingdom, and at the end of a few 
months trade was again renewed with foreign nations. 

On the 11th of June the king went to live at Meudon. 
The pretext was to clean the chateau of Versailles ; the real 
The king at Meu- rcasou, the Convenience of Cardinal Dubois. 
convTn^°nce*of Flattered to the last degree by being called to 
Cardinal Dubois, preside ovcr an assembly of clergy, he wished 
to enjoy that honour. He also wished to be present from 
time to time at the meetings of the Company of the 
West ; Meudon brought him nearer to Paris by half way 
than Versailles, and spared him the paved road. His de- 
baucheries had given him very painful and continual suffer- 
ings which the motion of a carriage aggravated, though 


he concealed them with great care. The kmg held a review 
of his household troops at Meudon, at which the pride of the 
prime minister led him to appear, but it cost him dear. He 
appeared on horseback, the better to enjoy his triumph ; he 
suffered cruelly, and liis ailment increased with such vio- 
lence that he was forced to call in help. He saw, in the 
deepest secrecy, the most celebrated surgeons and physi- 
cians, who all thought ill of his case; and through their 
reiterated visits and a few indiscreet remarks the matter 
began to transpire. He could no longer go to Paris except 
occasionally, and then with the greatest suffering, and solely 
to hide his malady, which gave him now no rest. And yet, 
no matter what his condition was, his ruhng passions oc- 
cupied his thoughts and time as if his age and health still 
promised him forty years of life ; the desire to enrich him- 
self and to perpetuate the sole and sovereign power in his 
own hands tormented him with the same intensity. 

But on the 8th of August, Saturday, he became so ill that 

the surgeons and doctors assured him that he must submit 

to a very urgent operation, without which ho 

Illness and death J a r 

of Cardinal could not hopc to livc for morc than a few 

days, because the abscess which had broken 
when he rode to the review would end in gangrene, if it 
had not already done so, by the suffusion of pus ; and they 
told him he must be taken at once to A^ersailles to undergo 
the operation. The shock of this terrible announcement 
was so great that he could not be moved, even in a Utter, 
till Monday, the 10th, when he started at five in the 

After leaving him for a time to rest, the physicians and 
surgeons proposed to him to receive the sacraments first, 
after which they would perform the operation. This was 
not accepted peacefully. He had scarcely ceased to be in a 


state that was well-nigh madness since the day of the re- 
view, and his excitement had been much increased by the 
proposal of the operation. However, he sent for a Franciscan 
friar of Versailles, with whom he was alone for fifteen 
minutes — so great and good a man and so well prepared 
could not need more ; besides, the last confessions of prime 
ministers are privileged. When the surgeons re-entered his 
room they proposed to him to receive the viaticum ; on 
which he cried out that that was easy to say, but there 
was a special ceremonial for cardinals which he did not 
know, and they must send to Cardinal de Bissy in Paris 
and inquire about it. The surgeons looked at each other, 
seeing plainly that he was only wantmg to gain time; 
but as the operation was pressing they prepared to per- 
form it without waiting any longer. On this he drove them 
away furiously, and would not hear of it again. 

The Faculty, knowing the imminent danger of further de- 
lay, sent word of it to the Due d'Orl^ans, who was at 
Meudon, but went immediately to Versailles in the first 
carriage that came to hand. He exhorted the cardinal to 
submit to the operation, and asked the Faculty if they were 
sure of the result. The surgeons replied that they could 
promise nothing, but that the cardinal had not two hours 
to live if it was not done at once. The Due d'Orl^ans 
then returned to the patient's bed, and begged him so earn- 
estly that he consented. The operation was performed in 
five minutes at five o'clock by La Peyronie, first surgeon to 
the king, succeeding Mar^chal, who was present with Chirac 
and other celebrated surgeons and physicians. The cardinal 
screamed and stormed terribly. The Due d'OrMans returned 
to the room immediately after, when the Faculty told him 
that from the nature of the sore and the discharge from it 
the patient had not long to live. In fact, he died just 


twenty-four hours later, Tuesday, August 11, at five in the 
afternoon, grinding his teeth at the surgeons, especially 
Chirac, whom he had never ceased abusing. 

They brought him the extreme unction, however. As to 
communion, nothing more was said about that, and no priest 
was near him ; he finished his life in despair and wrath at 
being forced to quit it. Fortune had tricked him ; he had 
bought her dearly and slowly, with all sorts of troubles, 
cares, projects, schemes, anxieties, toils, and torments of 
mind ; at last she had poured upon him, in torrents, gran- 
deur, power, riches incalculable, to let him enjoy them four 
years only, and then to tear them from him at the most 
smiling moment of his joy. He died at sixty-six, the mas- 
ter of his master, less a prime minister than possessing 
royal power in all its plenitude and independence, cardi- 
nal, Archbishop of Cambrai, controller of the posts, enjoying 
the revenues of seven abbeys, and receivmg, so it was stated, 
a pension from England of forty thousand 

His wealth. o J 

pounds sterling. I have had the curiosity to 
look up his revenues, and I think it interesting to write 
down here what I have discovered about them, — diminish- 
ing somewhat those from his benefices to avoid all danger of 
over-statement. They were as follows : — 

Church benefices frs. 324,000 

Prime minister 150,000 

Posts 100,000 

Pension from England 960.000 

Total 1,534,000 

Add to this that he had, as I believe, twenty thousand 
francs a year from the clergy as cardinal; but this I do not 
know with certainty. What he had obtained from and 
through Law was something enormous ; he used a great 
deal of it in Rome to obtain his cardinalate, but a vast 


amount of ready money still remained to him. He had 
an immense quantity of the choicest gilt and silver plate of 
admirable workmanship, the richest furniture, the rarest 
jewels of all kinds, the finest horses in any country, the 
most sumptuous equipages. His table was exquisite and 
splendid in every way, and he did the honours of it well, 
though extremely sober himself by nature and by regimen. 

What a monster of fortune, when we think whence he 
came and how rapidly he fell ! It is very literally to him 
that we may apply this passage in the Psalms : — 

" I myself have seen the wicked in great power and flour- 
ishing like a cedar of Lebanon ; I went by and lo ! he was 
gone ; I sought him but his place could nowhere be found. " 
Vidi impium superexaltum et elevatum sicut cedros Libani ; 
et transivi, et ecce non erat, et non inventus locus ejus. 

There was no funeral oration at his obsequies, for no one 

dared make one. His brother, older than himself, a worthy 

man, had left but one son, a canon of Saint- 

His obsequies. 

Honord, who had never wanted places or ben- 
efices and lived a saintly life. He received an enormous 
inheritance, but would scarcely touch any of it. He em- 
ployed part in putting up a species of mausoleum to his 
uncle, — handsome, but modest, built against the wall at the 
foot of the church where the cardinal is buried, with a very 
Christian inscription upon it. The rest of the money he dis- 
tributed among the poor, for fear it might bring him a curse 
if he kept it. 

There is many an example of amazing fortune, even in 
men who rise from nothing, but there is none in a person 

so destitute of all talent (if we except that 

Sketch of him. _ ^ _ ^ 

of base and underhand intrigue) as Cardinal 
Dubois. His mind was very ordinary, his knowledge most 
common, his capacity nil ; his appearance that of a ferret 


and a blackguard ; his utterance disagreeable, jerky, always 
hesitating ; his falseness was written on his forehead ; his 
morals, unrestrained, could not be hidden. Add to these 
points furies that might pass for fits of madness ; a head 
incapable of containing more than one thing at a time, or of 
following anything that was not for his personal interest. 
Nothing was sacred to him, no tie respected ; open contempt 
for faith, promises, honour, truth, integrity ; great dehght 
and continual practice in making game of all such things ; 
voluptuous as well as ambitious ; wanting all things ; count- 
ing himself as everything and whatever was not for him as 
nothing, and considering it as total idiocy to think or act 
otherwise. With that, soft, servile, supple, flattering, admir- 
ing ; taking all sorts of forms with the utmost facility, and 
playing any kind of part, often contradictory, to attain his 
ends ; but, nevertheless, very little capable of persuadmg. 
His arguments were always impulsive and fitful, involved, per- 
haps unconsciously so, and devoid of logic and precision ; im- 
pleasantness followed him everywhere. Nevertheless, he had 
moments of amusing vivacity when he chose, and could tell 
diverting stories ; though these were disfigured by his elocu- 
tion, which might have been good were it not for a stutter 
which his natural duphcity had turned into a habit, from a 
desire to be uncertain in what he said and replied. With 
such defects, it is hardly conceivable that the only man he 
was ever able to attract was the Due d'Orleans, who had so 
fine a mind, such clear-sighted intelligence, and who could 
seize so quickly on all that exhibits the real man. But 
Dubois won him when a child, in his functions as tutor ; he 
took possession of him as young man by encouraging his 
Hking for liberty, for a false air of knowledge of the world, 
for the allurements of debauchery, and his impatience of all 
restraint ; he spoilt liis heart, his mind, his conduct with 


those fine theories of learned libertines from which the 
poor prince could never free himself, any more than he could 
free himself from the contrary sentiments of reason, truth, 
and conscience, which he took such pains to smother. 

Dubois insinuated himself in this way, and had no study 
more at heart than to retain by every sort of means his mas- 
ter's favour, on which depended his own advantages, which 
at first were not so much ; though even then they were con- 
siderable for the valet of the rector of Saint-Eustache, and 
later of Saint-Laurent. He therefore never lost sight of his 
prince, whose great gifts he perceived, and whose great de- 
fects he knew so well how to put to profit ; it was the only 
talent of which he was master. 

The public frenzies of Cardinal Dubois, especially after 

he became master and no longer restrained them, w^ould 

fill a volume. I shall only mention a few as 

His crazy capers. . tx- n it .• t 

specimens. His lury would sometimes make 
him rush round and round the room, flying from chairs to 
tables without setting foot to the ground. The Due 
d'Orldans told me several times that he had often been 
witness of these occasions. On the Easter-Sunday after 
he was made cardinal, he woke at eight o'clock and rang 
till he pulled down the bell-rope, blaspheming horribly at 
his servants, spluttering filth and insults, and shoutmg to 
know why they had not waked him earher, for he wanted 
to say mass, and he did not know how he should ever get 
time with all the rest that he had to do. The best thing he 
ever did was not to say it at all after this fine preparation, 
and I do not know that he ever said it after his consecration. 
Cardinal Dubois had long been married, and tlierefore 
very obscurely. He paid his wife well to hold her tongue 
after he got liis benefices ; but when lie 

His marriage. , ^ 

dawned into grandeur he found her extremely 


embarrassing ; he was always in terror lest she should make 
him miss his great ecclesiastical dignities. His marriage 
had taken place in the Limousin. As soon as he was Arch- 
bishop of Cambrai he confided the matter to Breteuil, con- 
juring him to get rid of every proof of his marriage cautiously 
and without scandal. The wife never dared to say a word. 
After her husband's death she came to Paris and received 
a large sum out of his immense property, on which slie 
lived obscurely but much at her ease, dying in Paris about 
twenty years after Dubois, by whom she had no children. 

I shall say no more, because, as I before remarked, it 
would make a volume. I have said enough to show this 
The Due d'Or- moustrous pcrsonagc, whose death was a com- 
rXleTby his ^^^t to great and small, and, in truth, through- 
'^'=^^^- out Europe. But the most comforted person 

of all vras the Due d'OrMans. He had long groaned in 
secret under the weight of so hard a tyranny and the 
trammels of a chain he had forged for himself. Not only 
could he no longer direct or decide anything, but he was 
forced to explain, uselessly, to the cardinal what he desired, 
whether in great matters or in small ones. He was com- 
pelled to submit them all to the will of the cardinal, who 
would fly into fury, reproaching and insulting him as though 
he were a private person if he chanced to contradict him. 
The poor prince also felt the isolation in which he found 
himself, and through this very isolation and abandonment, 
the power of the cardinal and the eclipse of his own. He 
feared him ; the man became intolerable to him ; he longed 
to get rid of him. Tliis was shown in a thousand ways, but 
he did not dare to do it; in fact he knew not how. Iso- 
lated and perpetually watched as he was, he had no one in 
whom he could confide, and if he had attempted to do so, 
the cardinal, warned of it, would have doubled his capers to 


hold by fear what he knew he could not hope to keep in 
any other way. 

A.s soon as he was dead the Due d' Orleans returned to 
Meudon to inform the king, who immediately begged him 
The king ap- to take charge of affairs, declared him prime 

points the Due • • , t • i ^ • j.t c cc j.i 

^■r»,i»,„o ^,;,^» mmister, and received his oath oi omce on the 

a Orleans prime ' 

minister. following day ; the letters-patent for which were 

at once drawn up and certified by parliament. This declara- 
tion, so prompt that the Due d'Orl^ans was unprepared for it, 
was wholly due to the fear of the Bishop of Fr^jus that some 
private person might become prime minister. The king 
liked the Due d'()rl(5ans, as I have said already, for the 
respect he received from him, and the manner in which he 
worked with him, making him always the apparent master of 
the favours bestowed by the choice of the persons he proposed 
to him ; besides which, he never bored him, or thwarted his 
amusements by his hours of work. Whatever care, whatever 
suppleness Cardinal Dubois had employed to win the king's 
mind and coax him to himself, he never succeeded in doing 
so ; and it was easy to see, without having very good eyes, a 
dislike on the part of the king to the minister. The cardinal 
was in despair, but he kept his legs going, always in hopes of 
succeeding in the end. 

A still more corrupt man, if that be possible, than Cardinal 
Dubois, followed him twelve days later ; this was the presi- 
Death of dcut de Mcsmcs who, already weighted by a 

dlnnfpariia-'" ^®^^ slight apoplcxics, suffcrcd one which 
'"^"^^ carried him off in twenty-four hours at sixty- 

one years of age, without giving a sign of life in that short 
interval. I mean more corrupt than Dubois through his 
profound and notorious treachery, and because, being born to 
a rich and honourable position, he had no need to build up 
his fortunes like Dubois, who came of the dregs of the 


people; not that this is an excuse for the latter, but it was 
a temptation the less to the former, who had only to enjoy 
what he was, with honour. I have had so many occasions 
to make known this magistrate, who was equally odious and 
contemptible, that I think I may dispense with soiling my 
pages any further with him. I was peaceably living at La 
Fert^ with excellent company for more than two months 
without choosing to leave it, iu spite of the couriers which 
Belle-Ile and others despatched to me on the death of 
Cardinal Dubois, urging my return. Vanity and greed for a 
pension brought me another courier on the death of the 
president, from his daughters [one of whom was married to 
the Due de Lorges], entreating me to return and obtain it for 
them from the Due d'Orl^ans. 

I yielded on this occasion to the virtue and piety of 
Mme. de Saint-Simon, who was absolutely determined that 
I should not refuse to do them this kindness ; I therefore 
started, and she herself returned to Paris a few days after 
me. The Court had returned from Meudon to Versailles on 
the 13th of August, that is, some ten days earlier, and it was 
there that I found the Due d'Orl^ans. 

As soon as he saw me enter his cabinet he ran to me, and 
asked me eagerly if I meant to abandon him. I replied 
I find the Due that as loug as his cardinal had lived, I felt 
d'Orieansandgo ^^^f usclcss bcsldc him, and that I had 

back to him, the •' 

same as ever. profited by it for my freedom and for my re- 
pose ; but now that that obstacle to all good was removed, 
I should always be very humbly at his service. He made 
me promise to live with him as before, and, without making 
any reference to the cardinal, he began to talk about pres- 
ent affairs, domestic and foreign, explaming to me how he 
stood, relating to me the flutter of England and Holland 
regarding the new company of Ostende formed by the 


emperor, which he wished to maintain and the two powers 
wished to prevent, for the sake of their commerce ; and 
how France was affected, both for and against, together with 
his own views of conduct in the matter. I found him con- 
tent, gay, and resuming work with pleasure. AVhen we 
had talked over everything foreign and domestic, and about 
the king, with whom he was much pleased, I spoke to him 
of the pension for which the daughters of Mesmes, the 
late president, requested me to ask him. He began to 
laugh and scotf at them for sending to him again after the 
quantities of money he had given to their father, or rather 
that their father had so often filched from him; and he 
laughed at me for being their solicitor in a thing so absurd, 
after all that had passed between me and the president, 
whose funeral oration he then and there made in few but 
telhng words. I acknowledge frankly that I did not in- 
sist upon a thing that I myself thought unbecoming, and 
about which I cared nothing at all. From this time forth 
I lived with the Due d'Orl^ans as I had always done be- 
fore Cardinal Dubois was made prime minister; and he 
with me in all his former confidence. I must admit, how- 
ever, that I did not seek to make great use of it. 

The new chateau de Meudon had been restored to me 
after the return of the Court to Versailles, furnished as 
Sad condition of it had bccn before the king went there. The 
his health. j)^Q J^^(J Duchesse d'Humieres shared it with 

us, and good company they were. The Due d'Humieres 
asked me to drive him to Versailles early one morning, that 
he might thank the Due d'Orldans for his lodging. We 
found him not dressed, still m the lower room he had made 
into a wardrobe, seated among his valets and two or three 
of his principal officers. I was frightened. I saw before 
me a man with his head hanging, his face of a purplish red, 


and so stupefied that he did not even see me as I ap- 
proached him. His servants told him I was there. He 
turned his head slowly towards me, almost without raising 
it, and asked in a thick voice what brought me there. 
I had gone there to hasten his coming up to his dressing- 
room in order not to keep the Due d'Humiferes waiting 
too long ; but I was so astonished that I stopped short. I 
took Simian e, first gentleman of his Bedchamber, aside to 
a window, where I expressed my surprise and alarm at the 
state in which I saw his master. Simiane told me that he 
had been so for some time past in the mornings ; there was 
nothing extraordinary in his state that day, and I was only 
surprised because I never saw him at those hours; he 
assured me that nothing would show of it as soon as the 
prince had shaken himself together and was dressed. This 
condition did, however, appear a good deal when he came 
up to dress. He received the Due d'Humiferes' thanks with 
a puzzled, heavj^ look ; and he, always so gracious and polite 
to every one, and knowing so well how to say the right thing 
at the right time, scarcely answered at all. A moment later 
we retired, M. d'Humiferes and I. We dined mth the Due de 
Gesvres, who took d'Humiferes to make his thanks to the king. 
This condition of the Due d'Orldans caused me to make 
many reflections. For some time past the secretaries of 
State had told me that during the early morning hours 
they could make him agree to whatever they wished, and 
could have made him sign anything, even to his own injury. 
This was the fruit of his suppers. I was not mute to him 
on that subject, but all representations were perfectly use- 
less. I knew, moreover, that Chirac had plainly told him 
that the continuation of these suppers would lead either to 
sudden apoplexy or to dropsy of the chest, because his 
respiration would sooner or later be affected ; on which. 


he rebelled against the latter evil, as being slow, suffocating, 
interfering with everything, and always threatening death ; 
he declared that he much preferred apoplexy, which took 
you unawares and killed you suddenly without your having 
time to think about it. 

Any other man, instead of exclaiming against the man- 
ner of the death that threatened him, and preferring one 
I warn Frejus of SO terrible to another that gave him time to 
the state of the ^j ^ himsclf, would havc thought about 

Due d Orleans' ' " 

health. living, and doing what he could to promote 

it by a sober, healthy, and decent hfe, which, with his con- 
stitution, might have given him a great many years and very 
agreeable ones. But such was the bUndness of this unhappy 
priace ! At this time I was living in much intimacy with 
M. de Frejus ; and, inasmuch as the king, m default of the 
Due d'Orl(^ans, would need some other master until he was 
of age and ability to be one to himself, I preferred it should 
be this prelate rather than any one else. I therefore went 
to see him, and told him what I had seen that morning of 
the Due d'Orl^ans' condition; I predicted that his death 
could not long be deferred, and that it would probably 
happen suddenly without any warning. I therefore ad- 
vised the bishop to take measures with the king at once, 
without losing a moment, to fill his place, which was all 
the more easy because he could not doubt of the king's 
affection for him, Frdjus. I reminded him that no one ap- 
proached him in that respect ; he had daily long tete-ci-tetes 
with the king, which gave him every means and all facilities 
to secure his immediate succession to the office of prime 
minister the moment it became vacant. I found a man 
apparently very grateful for this advice and desire, but 
modest, cautious, and considering the office above his con- 
dition and attainment. 

TOL. IV. — 24 


This was not the first time that our conversations had 

turned on this subject in general, but I had never before 

spoken of it as an immediate thing. He told 

to take his mc that he had thought much about it, but 


that he could not see any one except a prince 
of the blood who could be appointed prime minister w^ith- 
out exciting envy, jealousy, and public outcry ; in fact he 
saw no one but M. le Due. I exclaimed against the danger 
of a prince of the blood, who would put every one under his 
feet, whom no one could resist, and whose relations and 
connections would pillage the country; and I reminded 
him that the late king had never been willing to put one 
of the princes of the blood into the Council, in order not 
to let them aggrandize themselves and assume authority. 
And what comparison was there between simply being 
of the Council of a king who governed and was so jealous 
of governing, and being the prime minister of a child-king, 
without experience, whose majority was only nominal, and 
under whom a prime minister prince of the blood would 
be the actual king ? I added that Fr^jus had had time 
since the death of the king to see with what avidity the 
princes of the blood had pillaged the finances, with what 
obstinacy they had protected Law and all that favoured 
their pillage, with what audacity they had encroached in 
every way ; and he ought to be able to judge from that what 
would be the rule of a prime minister prince of the blood ; 
and more especially of M. le Due, who added to all that I 
had just represented a silliness that was almost stupidity, 
unconquerable obstinacy, inflexible firmness, insatiable self- 
interest, with which all France and himself would have to 
reckon; or rather he and they would have to submit to a 
will that was solely selfish. 

rr(^jus listened to these reflections with profound placidity, 


and rewarded them with the amenity of a tranquil, gentle 

smile. He did not answer a single one of the objections 

.1 had raised, except by telhng me that there 

Falseness and ' i ./ o 

policy of that was truth in what I said, but that M. le Due 
had some good in him ; lie had honour, integ- 
rity, and friendship for him ; that he ought to prefer him out 
of gratitude for the friendship his father, the late M. le 
Due, had always shown him ; and finally, that to let the 
office of prime minister decline upon a private individual 
would be too great a fall, and would crush the shoulders 
of any such person who accepted it ; that M. le Due was 
the only one of the princes of the blood who was fit to 'fill 
that important place ; that he was not really well-known 
to the king or familiar with him, though the place of 
superintendent of the education which he had wrested from 
the Due du Maine might, and ought to have produced it; 
he would therefore have need of those who were closest to 
the king in his liking and privacy ; and with this help and 
the relations that M. le Due would be obliged to hold with 
them, all would go right: in short, the more he thought, 
and he had thought a great deal about it, the more he was 
convinced that there was no other way practicable. 

His last words stopped me short. I told him he was 
more in the way of seeing things clearly than any one ; 
that I contented myself with having warned him and told 
him what I thought ought to be done ; that I could not 
help regretting he should let the office of prime minister 
escape him ; but that, after all, I yielded, though agamst 
my own feeling and wish, to one who was more clear- 
sighted than I. It is easy to imagine with what assur- 
ances of gratitude, friendship, and confidence he seasoned 
his remarks. I returned to Aleudon with the Due d'Hu- 
miferes fully persuaded that Frejus was only hindered by 


his timidity ; that he was none the less eager for sove- 
reign power; that in order to combine his ambition with 
his fear of the envy and jealousy that might upset him, his 
reflections had made this scheme of putting a prince of the 
blood m that place, expecting to find him inept and a mere 
semblance and shell of a prime minister, while he, Fr^jus, 
would be the real one, through his power with the king, 
of whose heart and mind he knew himself to be the sole 
and complete possessor, — a fact wliich would render him so 
essential to M. le Due that the latter would never dare to 
do the least thing without his sanction, and thus, without 
exciting envy or jealousy, and preserving always his ex- 
ternal modesty, everything, in point of fact, would be in his 
hands. To butt against a project thus thought out, and 
a project of this nature, would have been to break my nose 
against a wall. So I spoked my wheel as soon as I felt 
his mind, and I refrained from telling him that Mme. de 
Prie [M. le Due's mistress] and the other environers of 
M. le Due would certainly defeat him, because they would 
choose to govern and profit, and would consequently make 
the prime minister shake off very quickly the yoke that 
Fr^jus proposed to put upon him. I said this that same 
evening to Mme. de Saint-Simon, from whom I have never 
kept any secrets, and whose great good sense has been of 
such benefit to me all my life. She thought in this matter 
as I did. 

The Due de Lauzun died on the 19th of November, aged 
ninety years and six months ; he was, as I have said already. 
Death of the extraordinary in all ways by nature, and he 

Due de Lauzun. ^^^^ pleasure in making himself appear more 
so. He forbade, with good reason, all ceremonies at his 
funeral, and he was buried at the Petits-Augustins. He 
had no offices from the king but liis old company of the 


" Bees de Corbins," which was suppressed two days later. 
A month before his death he had sent for Dillon, charge 
d'affaires in Paris of King James, and a very distinguished 
general officer, to whom he returned his collar of the Order 
of the Garter, and a George in onyx surrounded by very 
large and beautiful diamonds, requesting him to send them 
to the prince. 

We have seen recently that the Due d'0rl4ans dreaded 
a slow death which he could long foresee, — the sort of death 
Sudden death which bccomes a very precious mercy when 
of the Due that of understanding how to profit bv it is 

d'Orleans. ° r J 

added, — a sudden death was the kind he 
preferred. Alas ! he obtamed it ; and it was even more 
sudden than that of his father, the late Monsieur, whose 
frame struggled longer against it. I went on the 21st of 
December, immediately after dinner, from Meudon to Ver- 
sailles to see the Due d'Orleans. I was alone with him 
for three quarters of an hour in his cabinet, where I 
had found him by himself. We walked up and down the 
room, talking over certain matters about which he was to 
render an account to the king that very afternoon. I saw 
no difference in him from his usual condition, which of late 
had grown heavier and more massive, but his mind was as 
clear and his reasoning as sound as ever. I returned im- 
mediately to Meudon, where I talked for a time, on arriving, 
with Mme. de Saint-Simon. The season was such that we 
had but two guests ; I left her in her cabinet, and went to 
my own room. 

At the end of an hour, at the most, I heard cries and a 
sudden confusion. I left my room, and met Mme. de Saint- 
Simon, bringing to me in much alarm a groom of my 
son, the Marquis de Euffec, who had sent him to tell me 
that the Due d'Orleans was seized with apoplexy. I was 


keenly shocked, but not surprised ; I had expected it, as I 
have shown, for a long time. I fretted for my carriage, 
which kept me waiting on account of the distance of the 
new chateau from the stables. When it came, I flung my- 
self into it and started as fast as I could go. At the gate of 
the park another courier from the Marquis de Euffec stopped 
me and told me that all was over. I stayed there more than 
half an hour, absorbed in grief and in my reflections. After 
a while I decided to go on to Versailles, where I shut myself 
up at once in my apartments. Xangis had succeeded me 
with the Due d'Orl^ans ; he was soon dismissed and was 
followed by Mme. Falari, a pretty adventuress who had mar- 
ried an adventurer, a brother of the Duchesse de Bethune. 
She was one of the mistresses of this unhappy prince. His 
bag was all prepared to go and work with the king, and he 
had been talking nearly an hour with Mme. Falari while 
awaiting the time to go. She was very near him, each sit- 
ting beside the other in their armchairs, when he fell over, 
sideways, upon her, and from that moment showed not a 
ray of consciousness, nor the shghtest appearance of life. 

La Falari, terrified to the extent we can imagiQe, screamed 
for help with all her strength and redoubled her cries. Find- 
ing that no one answered, she rested the poor prince as best 
she could upon the two contiguous arms of the two chairs, 
and ran into the grand cabinet, into the chamber, into the 
antechambers, finding no one, and finally into the courtyard 
and the lower gallery. It was so near the prince's hour for 
working with the king that the servants were sure no one 
would visit him, and he himself had only to go up his own 
little staircase which opened into the king's last antechamber, 
where he always found a serv^ant in waiting to take his bag. 
At last La Falari found persons, but no help, for which she 
despatched the first of them who came to hand. Chance, or 


to speak more properly, Providence had arranged this fatal 
event at an hour when every one had gone about his busi- 
ness or was paying visits, so that a good half-hour went by 
before either a physician or a surgeon came, and nearly as 
much before the servants of the Due d'Orl^ans could be 

As soon as the Faculty looked at him they saw there was 
no hope. He was hastily laid on the floor and bled ; but he 
gave not the slightest sign of life, do what they would. 
The moment the news was given, everybody, of all species, 
flocked in ; the great and the small cabinet were crammed 
with people. In less than two hours all was over, and, Httle 
by little, the solitude was as great as the crowd had been. 
As soon as help arrived La Falari fled, and went to Paris as 
fast as she could. 

La Vrillifere was the first to be informed of the seizure. 
He instantly rushed to teU the king and the Bishop of Pr^- 
jus ; next, M. le Due, — like a true courtier who knows that 
every moment is precious. Believing that the latter would 
surely be prime minister, he then hurried home and wrote 
out, on the chance of it, the letters-patent, which he copied 
from those of the Due d'Orl^ans. Notified of the death the 
moment it occurred, he sent word of it to M. le Due, and 
went back to the king's apartments, where imminent danger 
had already collected the most important persons belonging 
to the Court. 

Prdjus, at the first news of the apoplexy, had settled 
the affair of M. le Due with the king, whom he had, no 
M.ieDucismade ^oubt, prepared in advance (prompted by the 
prime minister. state, SO visiblc, of the Duc d'Orldaus, espe- 
cially after what I had said to him), for when M. le Duc 
went to the king at the moment that the death was an- 
nounced, the most distinguished persons who were gathered 


about the door of the cabinet were shown into the room at 
the same time, and then, the doors being closed, Fr^jus said 
aloud to the king, who was seen to be very sad, with his 
eyes red and tearful, that under the great loss he had just 
met with in the Due d'Orldans (to whose praise Fr^jus 
gave scarcely two words), he could not do better than ask 
M. le Due to be so good as to take the whole burden of 
affairs upon Mm and accept the office of prime mmister. 
The kmg, without saying a word, looked at Frejus and 
consented with a nod of his head; whereupon M. le Due 
instantly offered Ms thanks. La Vrillifere, transported with 
joy at his owti prompt action, had the oath of the prime 
minister, copied from that of the Due d'Orldans, all ready in 
his pocket, and he proposed aloud to Frejus that M. le Due 
should take it on the spot. Frejus told the king it was the 
proper thing to do, and M. le Due took it immediately. 
Soon after, M. le Due went away ; all who were in the cabi- 
net followed him ; the crowd in the adjoining rooms swelled 
his train, and presently there was but one thing spoken of, 
namely, M. le Due in his new office. 

The Due de Chartres, a clumsy rake, was in Paris with an 

opera girl, whom he was keeping. There it was that a 

courier found him with the news of his father's 

Gross blunder of 

the Due de scizurc ; on Ms way to Versailles a second met 

Mm and told him of the death. He found no 
crowd when he got out of his carriage at Versailles, only the 
Dues de Noailles and de Gruiche, who offered Mm, very 
civilly, their services and all that could possibly depend 
upon them. He received them as importunate persons of 
whom he was in haste to be rid, and going up to his mother 
the Duchesse d'Orldans' apartment, he told her he had met 
two men who wanted to inveigle him finely, but he knew 
better than to fall into that trap and had soon got rid of 


them. This grand stroke of judgment, intelligence, and 
policy promised all that the prince has since then proved 
himself to be. They had great difficulty in making him 
understand that he had committed a gross blunder, and, 
even so, he continued to do the same sort of thing. 

As for myself, after passing a cruel night, I went to the 
king's lever, — not to show myself, but to say a word more 
securely and promptly to M. le Due, with whom I had been 
in constant intercourse since the lit de justice at the Tui- 
leries. He always stood at these levers in the recess of the 
middle window, and as he was very tall he could easily be 
seen from behind the thick hedge that surrounded the room. 
On this occasion it was immense. I signed to M. le Due to 
come and speak to me. He instantly pushed through the 
crowd and came to me. I led him to the recess of the win- 
dow nearest the cabinet, and told him that in the bag which 
the Due d'Orldans had prepared to go and work with the 
king was something which it was necessary I should speak 
about immediately to whoever succeeded him ; that I was 
not in a condition to bear seeing people, and I begged him to 
send me word, as soon as he had a free moment, that I might 
go to him, and also that he would let me enter by the small 
door of his cabinet, which opened on the gallery, to spare me 
the crowd which would fill his apartments. He promised 
this in the course of the day, most graciously, adding ex- 
cuses about the confusions of the first day of his new posi- 
tion, which did not enable him to fix a certain hour or one 
that was sure to suit me. 

From there I went to the Duchesse Sforza and told her 

that in this great misfortune I felt obliged, from respect and 

attachment to the Due d'Orl^ans, to mingle 

I go to see the ' o 

Duchesse j^y sorrow witli that of all who were nearest 

d'Orleans. . . - 

to him, and that it seemed to me indecent to 


omit the Duchesse d'Orl^ans. She, Mme. Sforza, knew the 
position I was iu with the princess, which I had no desire to 
change, but on so sad an occasion it seemed to me that 1 
oucrht to render to the widow of the Due d'Orleans the 
respect of calhug upon her, and I asked Mme. Sforza to 
ascertain whether she would receive me or not ; saying that 
I should be equally content with a yes or a no ; feehng that 
I had done what I thought I ought to do in this respect. 
She assured me that the Duchesse d'Orldaus would be glad 
to see me and would receive me well. As her lodging was 
close to that of the duchess I waited her return. She 
brought me word that the Duchesse d'Orldans would be 
pleased to see me, and would receive me in a manner to 
satisfy me. I therefore went immediately. 

I found her in bed, a few of her ladies, her principal 
officers, and the Due de Chartres in the room, with all the 
decency and propriety that could supply the place of grief. 
As soon as I approached she spoke of our common sorrow, 
but not a word of what had passed between her and me ; 
in fact, I had so stipulated. The Due de Chartres went 
away, and I shortened the languishing conversation as much 
as I could. From there I went to the Due de Chartres, who 
lodged in the apartment formerly occupied by his father 
before he was regent. I was told he was locked in. I 
returned three times in the course of the morning. The 
last time, his valet de chanibre was ashamed, and went to call 
him. He came to the threshold of the door of his cabinet, 
where he was sitting with companions indescribably com- 
mon. I saw a man full of his new position, bristling with 
it, not afflicted, but so embarrassed as scarcely to know 
where he was. I made him the strongest, clearest, most 
energetic compliment that I could, in a loud voice. He took 
me apparently for some henchman of the Dues de Guiche 


and de Noailles, for he did not do me the honour to answer 
a word. I waited some moments, and seeing that he did 
not intend to issue, from that ghost-like state, I made my 
bow and retired, without his taking a single step to accom- 
pany me, as he was bound to do, the length of his apartment ; 
after which he intrenched himself again in his cabinet. It is 
true that as I retired I cast my eyes right and left upon the 
company, who seemed to me much surprised. I then went 
back to my own rooms, sick of running about the chateau. 

As I left the dinner-table a valet de chamhre of M. le Due 

came to tell me that he awaited me, and took me through 

the little door direct to his cabinet. He met 


between me and me at the door, closcd it, drew an arm-chair 
for me, and one for himself. I informed him 
about the matter I had spoken of in the morning, and after 
discussing it we began to talk of the event of the day. He 
told me that on leavmg the king he had gone to the Due 
de Chartres, to whom, after the compliments of condolence, 
he had offered all that depended upon him to win his friend- 
ship and testify his true attachment to the memory of the 
Due d'OrMans ; after that, as the Due de Chartres continued 
silent, he had redoubled the protestations of his desire to 
serve him in all things ; on which he received a curt mono- 
syllable of thanks, given with a forbidding air which induced 
M. le Due to withdraw. I told him what had happened to 
me in the morning with the same prince, about whom we 
made our complaints to each other. M. le Due was very 
friendly and polite, and asked me, or rather urged me to 
come and see him quite often. I replied that, busy as I 
knew he would be with public matters and social affairs, 
I should feel a scruple in troubling him and those who had 
business with him ; I should therefore only present myself 
when I had something to say to him ; and as I was not 


accustomed to attendance in antechambers, I begged him 
to order his servants to let him know when I came and to 
admit me to his cabinet as soon as he conveniently could. 
Many compliments, much friendliness, and urgent invitations, 
etc. ; the interview lasted nearly three quarters of an hour, 
after which I fled away to Meudon. 

Mme. de Saint-Simon went the next day to Versailles to 

pay her court to the king on this event, and to see the 

Duchesse d'Orleans and her son. M. de Fr^ius 

Mme. de Samt- 

simongoesto paid a visit to Mme. de Saint- Simon as soon 
her court to°th?' as he heard slie was at Versailles, where she 
'^s- ciitj not sleep. Through all the fine things 

that he said to her of me, and about me, she thought she 
was made to understand that he w^ould rather have me 
Intimations given ^^ ^^ris than at Versailles. La A'riUifere also 
*° he*"- went to see her for the same purpose ; he 

was more afraid of me than even Fr^jus, but concealed his 
meaning less because he had less craftiness, and he scandal- 
ized Mme. de Saint-Simon the more because of his ingrat- 
itude for all that I had done for him. The fellow thought 
that he had so ingratiated himself with M. le Due by his 
haste in serving him and in swearing him in that he should 
get the duchy that he longed for without difficulty. When 
he had talked to me about it ia the Due d'Orleans' time, the 
vagueness of my replies did not put him at his ease in 
regard to me. He wanted to throw powder in the eyes of 
M. le Due and deceive him with false precedents, and feared 
I would expose them. 

I did not need as much as this to confirm me in the 
course I had previously resolved to take, as soon as I became 
I am confirmed in awarc of the threatening condition of the Due 
the resolution, d'Orli^ans. I weut to Paris, fully resolved not 

long taken, to •' 

retire to Paris. to appear before these new masters of the 


kingdom, except from rare necessity or for indispensable 
decorum; and then only for brief moments, with the dig- 
nity of a man of my sort and that of the position I had per- 
sonally held. Happily for me, I had never at any time lost 
sight of this total change in my position ; and, to tell the 
truth, the loss of Mgr. le Due de Bourgogne, and all that I 
had hoped for in his government, had blunted my feelings 
to any other loss of the same nature. I had seen that dear 
prince taken from me at the same age my father was when 
he lost Louis XIII. ; that is, my father was thirty-six and 
the king forty-one ; I was thirty -seven when the prince, not 
quite thirty and about to ascend the throne and bring back 
justice, order, and truth into the world, was taken from me ; 
and now, after him, I had lost a master of the kingdom, 
framed to live a century, who was six months older than I, 
and such as I have shown we had always been, he and I, to 
one another. All these things had prepared me to survive 
myself, and I had tried to profit by the teaching. 

The death of the Due d'Orldans made much noise both 

within and without the kingdom, but foreign countries did 

him incomparably more justice and regretted 

^ ^,u T?K° A ^ him far more than Frenchmen. Though for- 

death of the Due O 

d'Orie'ans on eigucrs kncw his weakness, of which England 

foreign countries. 

had taken singular advantage, they were none 
the less convinced, by their own experience, of the breadth 
and accuracy of his mind, the grandeur of his genius and his 
ideas, the singular penetration, wisdom, and shrewdness of 
his policy, the fertility of his expedients and of his resources, 
the dexteritv of his conduct under changes of events and 
circumstances, his clearness in perceiving aims and combin- 
ing means, his superiority over his ministers and those whom 
other powers sent to him, his exquisite discernment in un- 
ravelling and interpreting affairs, his easy knowledge of how 


to answer instantly on all things, when he chose. Such 
grand, such rare gifts for governing made them fear him and 
treat him prudently ; but the gracious manner he gave to 
all things, which charmed in the midst of opposition, made 
him seem to them always amiable. They respected, more- 
over, his grand and naive valour. The short period of the 
spell by which that wretched Dubois had, as it were, ex- 
tinguished this prince, had only served to raise him in their 
eyes by comparison of his conduct when it was truly his 
own, with his apparent conduct, which only bore his name 
and was really that of his minister. They saw that minister 
die and the prince take back the helm with the same talents 
they had formerly admired ; moreover, his weakness, which 
was indeed his great defect, was felt much less outside the 
kingdom than within it. 

The king, touched by his unalterable respect, his attention 
to please him, his manner of speaking to him, his way of 
working with him, mourned him, and was 
truly grieved at his loss ; so much so that he 
never spoke of him afterwards, and he did so often, without 
affection, esteem, and regret ; so surely does truth make itself 
known, in spite of craft, and all the industry of lies and 
wicked calumny, as I shall have occasion to show in the 
additions that I propose to make to these Memoirs, should 
God give me time to do so. 

M. le Due, who mounted so high on this death, showed 
an honourable and a becoming countenance about it. Mme. 
la Duchesse restrained herself very properly. The bas- 
tards, who gained nothing by the change, could scarcely 
rejoice. Fr^jus kept on all fours ; one could see him sweat- 
ing under the constraint, but his mute hopes escaped at 
every moment, — his whole countenance sparkled in spite 
of himself. 


The Court was little divided, because the sense of Courts is 
corrupted by passions. There were some men with sound 
eyes who saw him as foreigners did ; and they, 
being also continual witnesses of the charm of 
his mind, the facility of their access to him, his patience, his 
gentleness in listening, which never varied, his kindness, 
which came to him so naturally (though sometimes it might 
be only a mask), the pleasant wit with which he could 
evade or reject without ever wounding, — these men felt the 
whole weight of his loss. Others, in greater number, felt 
sorry also, but less in regret for him than from knowledge of 
the character of his successor and of those wlio surrounded 
him. But the bulk of the Court regretted him not at all ; 
some because they belonged to opposing cabals, others from 
indignation at the indecency of his Hfe, or at the game he 
had played of promismg and not performing ; others, again, 
who were pure malcontents, with little ground to be so, a 
crowd of ungrateful beings, of whom the world is full and 
who in Courts make up the greater number, with those who 
fancy they have more to hope from a successor, and, lastly, 
the mass of idlers, stupidly eager after novelty. 

In the Church the saints and the pious people rejoiced at 

their dehverance from the scandal of his life and the force of 

his example to libertines ; while the Jansenists 

On the Church, ^ 

Paris, and the and the buUists, either from ambition or fool- 
provinces. ishucss, agreed for once in being all consoled. 

Paris and the provinces, that is, the body of the people, des- 
perate at the cruel operation of the finances and the per- 
petual juggling to draw money out of them, which made all 
fortunes uncertain and ruined families, — incensed, moreover, 
by the monstrous dearness of everything, whether luxuries 
or the commonest necessaries, produced by these very opera- 
tions, — had long groaned heavily for relief and dehverance. 


Who is there that does not desire to count on something 


certain ? Who does not dread the schemes of financial 
legerdemain lest he fall, in spite of all precautions, a prey to 
unavoidable snares, until his patrimony or his fortune slips 
through his fingers, and he finds himself without protection 
in his rights or in the laws, not knowing how to live and 
maintain his family? 

A situation so harsh and so general, emanating necessarily 
from so many contradictory phases given successively to the 
finances under the false idea of repairing the 
chaos and ruin in which they were found on 
the death of Louis XIV., did not allow the public to regret 
the man whom it considered to be its author. This was just 
what I foresaw would happen in the arrangement or rather 
the derangement of the finances, the onus of which I 
earnestly desired to take from the Due d'Orleans by the 
assembling of the States-general which I proposed to him, 
and to which he agreed until the Due de Noailles, for his 
own selfish interests, prevented it, as I have said elsewhere, 
on the death of the king. Little by little as the years have 
rolled on, the scales have fallen from many eyes, the Due 
d'Orleans is regretted with keen regret, and that justice is 
now rendered to him which was always his due. 

The day after the death of the Due d'Orleans the Comte 
de Toulouse declared his marriage with the sister of the 
Due de Noailles, widow of the Marquis de Gondrin, eldest 
son of the Due d'Antin. She was formerly lady of the 
palace to the late dauphine. Society, which abounds in 
fools and jealous souls, did not see her assume the rank of 
her new position without some envious mutterings. I had 
no reason, as I have shown elsewhere, to like the Due de 
iSToailles, and I had never restrained myself towards him, 
but truth compels me to say that the birth of a Noailles 


is such that there could have been no cause for gamsaying 
if one of them had wedded a prince of the blood. 

I have now reached the period at which I have all along 
mtended to close these Memoirs.^ There can be no good 
Conclusion : mcmoirs uulcss they are perfectly true, and 

restraint im- ^^ ^^'^^^ °^^®® uulcss Written by One who has 
partiality. either seen and managed himself the thmgs 

of which he writes, or who gathers them from persons 
worthy of the utmost confidence who have themselves seen 
and managed them ; moreover, he who writes must love 
the truth to the point of sacrificing all things to it. On this 
last point I shall venture to give testimony to myself, con- 
vinced that none of all those who have known me will deny 
it. This love of the truth has even been an injury to my 
career. I have often felt this, but I have preferred truth 
to all thiags else, and I have never bent myself to any 
concealment ; I can honestly say that I have cherished 
truth against my own interests. Any one can easily see 
the traps and deceptions, sometimes very coarse ones, into 
which I fell, seduced by friendship or by love of the State, 
which I have never ceased to prefer to all other considera- 
tions without reserve, and always to any personal interest ; 
in fact, I have refrained from writing of many occasions 
because they concerned myself chiefly and were without 
enhghtenment or interest as to public affairs, or the course 
of events. It has been seen that I persevered in obtaining 
the finances for the Due de Noailles because I believed him, 

^ Saint-Simon alludes in several places to a continuation of his 
Memoirs. Can it be that he really wrote tlieir sequel clown to the year 
1743, the period of Fleury's death ? The doubt can only be cleared up 
by obtaining permission to study the papers of the duke which are pre- 
served at the ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have tried in vain to do 
this, and can only recommend the search to others who may be more 
fortunate than ourselves. (Note by the French editor.) 

TOL. IV. — 25 


very improperly, the most capable, richest, and best-provided 
seioneur among all those from whom we had to choose, and 
this at the very time when his great rascahty to me first 
came to my knowledge. Also the Memoirs show all that 
I did to save the Due du Maine against my dearest and 
most vital interests, because I thought it dangerous to at- 
tack both him and the parliament at the same time, when 
the parhament affair was the most pressing and could not 
be deferred. I content myself with those two facts, without 
dwelling on many others which are scattered along these 
Memoirs as they happened in the course of events, or were 
connected with the affairs of the Court and society. 

It remains to say something on the matter of impartiality; 
that inherent point, held to be so difficult, I do not fear to 
say so impossible to him who writes and who has seen and 
handled that of which he writes ; for such a man is charmed 
with those who are true and upright ; he is irritated against 
the scoundrels who swarm in Courts. The stoic is a noble, 
grand chimera. I do not, therefore, pique myself on my 
impartiality ; I should do so vainly ; it will too plamly be 
seen in these Memoirs that praise and blame flow out 
spontaneously as I myself am affected towards others ; that 
both are lukewarm about persons who are indifferent to 
me, but always warm for virtue and against dishonourable 
persons accordmg to their degree of vice or virtue. ISTever- 
theless, I may give myself this further testimony — and I 
flatter myself that the tissue of these Memoirs will not 
disprove it: I have been infinitely on my guard against 
my affections and my aversions, especially against the 
latter, endeavouring not to speak of either without scales 
in hand, not merely that I might not exaggerate but even 
overestimate anythmg; I have tried to forget myself, to 
beware of myself as of an enemy; to do exact justice, and 


to make pure truth stand high over all. It is in this man- 
ner that I claim to have been entirely impartial, and I 
beheve that there is no other way of being so. 

As for the truth and accuracy of what I have related, it 
will be seen by the Memoirs themselves that nearly all is 
drawn from what has passed through my own hands, and the 
rest from what I knew from others who had acted in the 
matters I relate. I name those persons, and their names, as 
well as my intimate relations with them, are beyond sus- 
picion. What I have learned from less sure sources I 
point out ; where I was ignorant I have not been ashamed 
to avow it. In this way, these Memoirs are from the foun- 
tain-head and at first hand. Their truth, their authenticity 
cannot be called in question ; and I believe I may say that 
until now there have been no others which have comprised 
more varied, more discriminated, and more detailed topics, 
nor any that form a more instructive and curious group. 

As I shall know nothing of it, little will it matter to me, 
but if these Memoirs ever see the light I do not doubt 
they will excite a prodigious rebellion. Every one is attached 
to his own, to his family, his interests, his pretensions, his 
chimeras, not one of which will submit to the shghtest 
contradiction. People are friends of Truth only so far as she 
favours them, and she is apt not to favour them in all 
things. Those of whom we say good are not obliged to us, 
because truth required it. Those, and they are far the greater 
number, of whom we say the reverse, are furious because 
this harm is proved by facts ; and as in the period of which 
I have written, especially towards its close, all things 
tended to decadence, confusion, chaos (which has since 
grown worse), and these Memoirs stand for order, law, truth, 
fixed principles, and strive to show plainly what was contrary 
to them, the convulsion against this mirror of truth will be 

388 MEMOIRS OF THE DUG DE SAINT-SIilON. [chap. xii. 

general But they are not written for those hanes of the 
State who poison it, who are bringing it to perdition by their 
madness, their selfishness; they are written for those who 
wish to be enlightened in order to prevent that perdition, 
but who, unfortunately, are carefully set aside by men in 
power and influence, who fear nothing so much as the light ; 
they are written for men who are not susceptible of any 
interests but those of justice, truth, reason, law, and sound 
policy, aiming solely for the public good. 

I have an observation to make on the conversations I have 
had with many persons, especially with the Due de Bour- 
gogne, the Due d'Orl^ans, M. de Beauvilliers, the ministers, 
the Due du Maine once, three or four times with the late 
king, and finally with M. le Due and other considerable 
persons, and the opinions I have formed, given, and argued. 
They are such, and in such number, that I can well believe 
that a reader who has never known me will be tempted to 
class them with those fictitious speeches which historians 
often put into the mouths of generals, ambassadors, senators, 
or conspirators, to adom their pages. But I can protest, with 
the same truth that has so far led my pen, that there is not 
a single conversation or discourse of all those that I have 
held and reported which is not related in these Memoirs 
with the most scrupulous fidehty to truth. If there be 
anything in this respect with which I can reproach myself, 
it is that I have weakened rather than strengthened my 
own remarks ; for memory sometimes drops the point, and 
we speak more vividly and with greater force when animated 
by scenes and persons than we can render in a report. I 
will add, with the same confidence I have sho^vn above, that 
no one of aU those who have known me and lived with me, 
would conceive the least suspicion as to the fidelity of the 
recital I give of those conversations, vehement as they may 


seem ; there is not a person among them all who would not 
recognize me word by word. 

One defect, among others, has always displeased me in 
memoirs ; and that is that when the reader has finished them 
he loses sight of the principal personages and the interest he 
feels in the rest of their lives remains vmsatisfied. He wants 
to know immediately what became of them, without seeking 
elsewhere for knowledge which his laziness will not take the 
trouble to get. This is something that I would like to 
prevent if God will give me time ; though I cannot do it 
with the same accuracy as when I was a part of everything. 
In later years, it is true. Cardinal Fleury never hid from me 
anything that I wished to know about foreign affairs (being 
himself almost always the first to speak of them), or about 
certain affairs of the Court ; still, all this was so little fol- 
lowed up on my part and even then with such great indiffer- 
ence, and with great gaps occurring in my knowledge, that 
I have every reason to fear this supplement, or sequel to my 
Memoirs may be very languid, badly elucidated, and wholly 
different from all that I have hitherto written. But at any 
rate, the reader will see what becomes of the personages 
who have appeared in these Memoirs down to the death 
of Cardinal Fleury, which is all that I propose to myself 
to do. 

Shall I say a word about my style, its negligence, the 
repetition of the same words close together, the synonyms 
often too profuse, above all the obscurity arising from the 
length of sentences and perhaps their repetition ? I have 
felt these defects ; I could not avoid them, carried away as I 
was by the subject and little attentive to the manner of 
conveying it, except that I might make it understood. I 
was never academical; I never could prevent myself from 
writing rapidly. To make my style more correct and more 


agreeable by correcting it would, have been to recast the 
whole work, and toil like that was beyond my strength and ran 
the risk of failure. To properly correct what one has written 
requires the knowledge of how to write ; it will readily be 
seen here that I have nothing to boast of in that respect. I 
have thought only of truth and accuracy, I dare to say that 
both will be found in my Memoir's ; that they are, in fact, the 
soul and the law of them ; and that for their sake the style 
deserves a benevolent indulgence. It has all the more need 
of it as I cannot promise to do better in the sequel I propose 
to write. 


Aguesseau (Henri-Frau(;'ois d'), made 
chancellor of France, 87 ; his charac- 
ter, its virtues and defects, 88-93 , 
reads to Saint-Simon a memorial 
against the bull Uuigenitus, 98, 99 ; 
becomes the victim of his obedience 
to the Due de Noailles, 142. 

Alba (Duchesse d'), marries the Abbe' 
de Castiglione, 84. 

Alberoni (Giulio, Cardinal), his power 
in Spain, how he defeated George tlie 
First's proposal to return Gibraltar to 
Spain, 79-8-3. 

Argenson (Marc-Rene Voyer, Mar- 
quis d'), appointed head of finances 
and Keeper of the Seals, 141. 

Arouet (Francois-Marie), son of Saint- 
Simon's notary, takes the name of 
Voltaire, his early career, 73. 

Bentivoglio (Guido, Cardinal), papal 
nuncio, his infamous character, 61, 
62 ; his intrigues with the Earl of 
Stair, 61-63. 

Berry (Duchesse de), takes possession 
of the Palace of the Luxembourg, 30- 
33 ; attempts to usurp the honours of 
a (jueen, 48 ; infatuated with llion, 
her slavery to him, 48-50 ; retreat at 
the Carmelites, .51 ; closes gardens of 
the Luxembourg, 63, 64 ; the inde- 
cency of her life, 249-253 ; wishes to 
declare her marriage to Rion, 267 ; 
her portrait and character, 267-269 ; 
her last illness and death, 270. 

Besons (Marechal de), a])pointed to 
Council of Regency, his character, 

Borgia (Cardinal), his comical be- 
havior at the marriage of the Prince 
of the Asturias, 326, 327. 

Bourbon-Conde (Due de), called M. le 
Due, appointed by regent chief of the 
Council of Regency, 9 ; enormous 
profits obtained by him, and other 
princes of the blood, from " The Mis- 
sissippi," 133 ; insists on the over- 
throw of the Due du Maine, 156-175 ; 
his appearance and conduct at the 
Council of Regency, 182-201 ; made 
superintendent of the king's educa- 
tion, 204-207, 222, 223, 233; made 
prime minister by Fleury on death of 
Due d'Orleans, 375, 376 ; interview 
with Saint-Simon, 379,380. 

Cellamare (Prince), Spanish ambassa- 
dor in Paris, his conspiracy, 236-241. 

Chartres (Philippe, Due de), a clumsy 
rake, his behaviour on the death of 
his fatlier, tlie regent, 376, 378, 379. 

Court (The), novelties introduced at 
beginning of regency, 32, 33 ; tlie 
Opera masked-ball first established, 
40, 41. 

Dacier (Andre'), translator of Homer, 
Ills death, liis wife, 350. 

Dangeau (Philippe de Courcillon, I\Iar- 
quis de), death, character, family, for- 
tune, and Memoirs, 294-297. 

DiBois (Guillaunie, Abbe', then Cardi- 
nal), Madame exacts a promise from 
the regent about him, 15 ; made coun- 
sellor of State for the Church, 47, 48 ; 
intimacy with Law, enormous gains 



from him, 132; works for the over- 
throw of the Due du Maine, 152; 
forces the regeut to make him arcii- 
bishop of Cambrai, 281-283 ; his couse- 
cration, 284 ; made cardinal, 300, 301 ; 
incomplete possession of regent, 337 ; 
forces him to make him prime minis- 
ter, 345-349 ; his illness, death, wealtli, 
character, private history, and fatal 
power over the Due d'Orle'ans, 357- 

England (Mary of Modena, Queen of), 
conduct and death, 148. 

Pagon (physician), his life, after death 
of Louis XIV., and death, 145, 146. 

Finances (The), condition in which 
they were found at beginning of re- 
gency, 31,32 ; public disorders result- 
ing, the taiUe-tayi, 134 ; Saint-Simon's 
proposal about the gabelle, 134. 

Fleury (Bishop of Fre'jus, afterwards 
Cardinal), seeks an intimacy with 
Saint-Simon, 233-236 ; anecdote of, 
301 ; his general conduct, 302-304 ; 
his odd disappearance on the arrest 
of Villeroy, despair of the king, 342- 
345 ; his reasons for not wishing to 
be prime minister, 371, 372; makes 
the king appoint M. le Due to that 
office, 375, 376 ; gives Mme. de Saint- 
Simon a hint that her husband is not 
desired at Versailles, 380. 

Force (Due de La), conversation with, 
and shameful proposal to Saint- 
SimoD, 62, 63. 

George I. (King of England), pro- 
poses to regent to return Gibraltar to 
Spain, how the negotiation failed, 

GoTON (Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la 
Mothe, Mme.), her death, 73, 74. 

Huguenots (The), their conduct after 
the death of Louis XIV., 75 ; regeut 
inclined to recall them to France, 75, 
76 ; Saint-Simon dissuades him, why, 
77, 78. 

Jesuits (The), their ingratitude and 
cruelty to each other, 247, 248. 

Lauzun (Due de), his death, 372. 

Law (John), who he was, and what his 
bauk and theories were, 68, 69 ; de- 
sires to be in constant communication 
with Saint-Simon, 71 ; his motives for 
tiiis, 72, 73 ; opposition from the Due 
de NoaiUes, 130, 131 ; seeks intimacy 
with Dubois to counteract it, 132 ; 
edict published in favour of Company 
of the \Vest, 132; thwarted in his 
scheme, 133, 134 ; works for the over- 
throw of the Due du Maine, 152; 
" The Mississippi," 259 ; his scheme to 
check parliament, 262-265 ; his con- 
version aud converters, 266, 267 ; 
made controller of finances, 274 ; dan- 
gers thickeu, 276-280, 284; made a 
scapegoat, 286 ; leaves France se- 
cretly, 288 ; his end, family, and 
character, 289, 290. 

Lent, its observance and discomforts in 
Spain, 333. 

Lit de Justice (The), public talk of 
it, 151 ; proposed by Saint-Simon, 154, 
155 ; the lil de justice at the Tuileries, 
177; Saint-Simon's description of it 
and of the preceding Council of Re- 
gency, 182-225. 

LospiTAL (Mme.), how she saved the 
Pretender, 37-40. 

Louis XIV., quick ingratitude shown 
to his memory, 15; his obsequies 
almost unattended, 17, 18. 

Louis XV., removed to Vincennes, 17 ; 
his reception of the czar, Peter the 
Great, 116; unworthy teaching of 
Marechal de Villeroy, 123, 124 ; quar- 
rel over his medals, 125; his be- 
haviour at the lit de justice, 223, 224 ^ 
his alarm at the removal of Villeroy 
and the disappearance of Fleury, 341- 
345 ; attains his majority, his portrait 
by Rigaud, 356. 

LouviLLE (Marquis de), how his mis- 
sion to return Gibraltar to Spain 
failed, 79-83. 



"Madame" (ifclisabeth-Charlotte, Du- 
chesse d'Orleaus, wife of " Monsieur "), 
tiie promise she exacts from her sou, 
the regent, about the Abbe Dubois, 
15 ; her health fails, 350; the science 
of little dots, 351 ; her death, 351 ; 
portrait and character, 352, 353 ; her 
letters, 353. 

Maine (Due du), triumphant arrival in 
parliament for reception of king's 
will, 2 ; endeavours to uphold the 
codicil, 5 ; his speech, 6 ; his con- 
temptible appearance after abroga- 
tion of will and codicil, 12; declares 
he cannot be responsible for king's 
person, is taken at his word, 13 ; Du- 
bois, Law, and d'Argenson work for 
his overthrow, 152, 160-171 ; his con- 
duct and appearance at Council of 
Regency preceding lit de justice, 182- 
189 ; his overthrow, 203-224; he and 
his wife concerned in the conspiracy 
of Cellamare, 241 ; his arrest and 
that of his wife, 242-244. 

Maintenon (Mme. de), illness of, 96 ; 
her death, 253 ; her life at Saiut-Cyr, 

Marlborough (Duke of), his death, 
and slight sketch of him, 337. 

Mesmes (Prc'sident de), his death, 
365 ; his daughters apply to Saint- 
Simon to obtain a pension for them, 

" Mississippi, The," its capital fixed 
and name changed, 133 ; at the 
height of its mania, 265 ; disasters 
threaten, its amazing history, 275- 
281 ; edict respecting its shares which 
reveals the state of the finances, 
284-286 ; is made into a commercial 
company, 286 ; general ruin, 287- 

Monsieur le Dec. See Bourbon- 

MoNTPENSiER (Louisc-Elisabetli, Mile, 
de) arrives in Spain for her marriage 
to Prince of the Asturias, 323-327 ; 
her wilful behaviour, 328-331 ; her 
future, 332 ; droll scene at lier fare- 
well audience to Saint-Simon, 334. 

NoAiLLES (Cardinal de), appointed head 
of council of conscience, 20, 21 ; ab- 
ject truckling of his opponents, 21- 
23 ; misses a great opportunity, 101 ; 
refuses the last sacraments to the 
Duchesse de Berry unless Kion is 
dismissed, 250-253. 

NoAiLLES (Due de), his opposition to 
John Law, 130, 132, 136, 138 ; is re- 
moved from the council of finance 
and enters the Council of Regency, 

Orleans (Due d'). See Regent. 

Orleans (Duchesse d'), her dignified 
reception of the news of her brother's 
overthrow, 228-231 ; turns against 
Saint-Simon, 232. 

Paris, the sink of all Europe, 85, 86. 

Parliament (The), opposes regent for 
opposition's sake, 65, 66 ; determined 
to oppose regent, 130; decrees its 
right to control the finances and 
openly threatens Law, 149, 150; ag- 
gressive action towards regent, 151 ; 
continued opposition to regent, 261, 
264, 292. 

Peregrine (The), a famous pearl, de- 
scription of, 332. 

Peter the Great (Czar of Russia), ar- 
rival in France ; journal and inci- 
dents of his stay there, 109-123. 

Pontchartrain (tiie late chancellor), 
Mare'chal de Villeroy takes the young 
king to see him, 74, 75. 

Portsmouth (Duchess of), her pension 
increased by regent, 149. 

Pretender (The), his adventure in 
crossing France to embark for Scot- 
land, 37-40. 

Princes of the blood (The), their 
struggle against the bastards, 84, 

Regency (Council of), names of its 
meml)ers, 27 ; names of heads of otiier 
councils reporting to it, 27 ; days 
of meeting, 31 ; scene of Council of 
Regency preceding lit de justice of 



the Tuileries, 182-209 ; gives place 
to Council of State, 356. 
Kegent (Philippe d'Urle'ans, The), un- 
prepared for kiug's death, 1 ; presides 
at session of parliament for reading 
kiug's will and codicil, 2, 3; his 
speech ou the will, 4-6; unbecom- 
iug dispute with Due du Maiue, 7-9 ; 
his speech on codicil, 11, 12; parlia- 
raeut sustains his authority as regent, 
12 ; annouuces the establishment of 
councils, 14; makes an unwise visit 
to Mme. de iVIaintenon, 16; opens 
prisons to all but criminals, horrors 
discovered, 18, 19; his fatal pliancy, 
23, 24 ; selections for couucils, 21-28 ; 
action in the matter of the Pretender, 
35-40 ; resolved to keep the Court in 
Paris, 41, 42; prevents Saint-Simon 
from leaving him, 42 ; parliament 
shows him its teeth, 43 ; his policy 
divide et regna, 44 ; miserable at the 
scandal of his daughter's life, 51 ; his 
daily life and personal conduct, 51- 
55 ; is committed by a cabal to Eng- 
land, 55-61 ; becomes interested in 
John Law and his tinaucial projects, 
67-73 ; proposes to Saint-Simon to 
recall the Huguenots, 75-78; his 
supineness in not supporting the 
princes of the blood against the bas- 
tards, 85 ; his weakness in the matter 
of the bull Unigenitus, 99 ; singular 
discussion with Saiut-Simon in his 
opera-box, 102-105 ; determined to 
uphold Law, 133 ; anxiety about 
finances, 134 ; always turns to Saint- 
Simon in difficulties, 137 ; dismisses 
d'Aguesseau, and gives the Seals to 
d'Argenson, 141 ; hoax played by him 
on Saint-Simon, 142-144 ; his real 
opinion of the latter, 145; aggressive 
action of parliament, is roused to a 
sense of his danger, 151 ; conversa- 
tion with Saint-Simon, 152; accepts 
proposal of a lit de justice, 1 56 ; dis- 
cussions -with Saint-Simon and M. le 
Due as to overthrow of the Due du 
Maine, 160-175 ; his dignified appear- 
ance and action at Council of Re- 

gency preceding lit de justice, 182- 
209, aud also at the lit de justice, 
210-225; his distress at the Philip- 
piques, 245-246; his monstrous ex- 
travagance with paper-money, 264, 
265, 276, 290, 291 ; grief at death of 
Duchesse de Berry, 269, 270 ; power 
of the Abbe' Dubois over him, 272, 
280-283 ; is forced by him to receive 
the bull Unigenitus, 292-294; tells 
Saint-Simon of the Spanish mar- 
riages, aud appoints him ambassa- 
dor to Spain, 298-300 ; Mare'chal de 
Yilleroy refuses to obey him, result, 
338-341 ; difficulty in soothing the 
king, 341-345 ; is forced by Dubois 
to make him prime minister, scenes 
with Saint-Simon on that subject, 
345-349 ; fatal power of Dubois over 
him, 362-364; his relief at Dubois' 
death, 365 ; welcomes Saint-Simou 
back to him, 366 ; alarming condi- 
tion of his health, 367, 368 ; dread of 
a slow death, 373 ; seized with apo- 
plexy and dies, 374, 375 ; effect of 
his death on France, foreign coun- 
tries, and persons, 381-384. 

RiON (lieutenant of the guard), 48- 

RcFFEC (Marquis de), Saint-Simon's 
second son, made grandee of Spain, 

Sain't-Pieree (Abbe de), his book, 
146 ; offence given to the old Court, 
regent requires his dismissal from 
the Academy, 147. 

Saixt-Sij[on (Due de), discusses with 
regent composition of councils, 19 ; 
again desires to retire from Court, 
42 ; receives a visit from Due du 
Maine and returns it, 44-46 ; his rela- 
tions with Comte de Toulouse, 46, 47 ; 
asserts that the regent never thought 
or desired to reign, 57 ; argues with 
him against too close an alliance with 
England, 58-61 ; conversation witli 
the Due de La Force, 62, 63 ; warns re- 
gent to be firm with parliament, 66 ; 
at regent's request receives John Law 



once a week, 71-73 ; dissuades regent 
from recalling Huguenots, why, 77, 
78 ; his prediction to Council of Re- 
gency about bull Unigenitus, 98, 99 ; 
discussion with regent thereon, 102- 
103 ; appointed against his will on 
committee of finance, 105-107; per- 
suades regent to buy the " Regent 
diamond," 107-109; goes incognito 
to see the czar, 120, 121; proceedings 
of finance committee, 127-130; his 
proposal about the salt-tax, 135 ; a 
melancholy truth, 136; regent turns 
to him for help, 137, 133 ; so does 
Law, 139 ; informs d'Argenson tliat 
he is chancellor and Keeper of the 
Seals, why, 140, 141 ; hoax played 
on him by regent, 142-144; regent's 
real feeling to him, 145 ; conversation 
with regent as to parliament, 152, 
153; consultation and steps taken 
to save Law, 154 ; proposes lit de jus- 
tice, 154, 155; resists proposal to 
overthrow the Due du Maine, why, 
156-158, 160-175; undertakes ar- 
rangements for lit de justice at the 
Tuileries, 158 ; yields, against his 
judgment, to overthrow of the Due 
du Maine, 173 ; obliges M. le Due to 
consent to reduction of the bastards 
to their proper rank in the peerage, 
174, 175 ; stipulates for reinstatement 
of Comte de Toulouse, 178; his de- 
scription of Council of Regency and 
of his own conduct there, 179-208; 
his description of the lit de justice 
and his conduct there, 210-225; the 
regent forces him to tell the l)u- 
chesse d'Orleans of her brother's 
overthrow, result, 226-232 ; Fleury 
seeks an intimacy with him, 233-236 ; 
urged in vain by regent and Law 
to accept shai'cs in " The Mississippi," 
259 ; receives payment of king's debt 
to his father in that way, 260, 261 ; 
frustrates Law's scheme against 
parliament, 263, 264 ; comforts re- 
gent for death of Duchesse de Berry, 
269, 270; distress at his wife's ill- 
ness, goes to live at Meudon, 271 ; 

refuses to be made governor of the 
king, why, 273, 274 ; appointed am- 
bassador to Spain, 299 ; starts on his 
embassy, 306 ; visits Loyola, 306, 
307 ; arrives in Madrid, 308 ; his 
account of his mission and residence 
in Spain, 309-335 ; is made a grandee 
of Spain, 327, 328 ; marriage of his 
daughter to the Prince de Chimay, 
336; scenes with regent relating to 
Dubois, 345-349 ; alienation from the 
regent, effect on Memoirs, 354, 355 ; 
after Dubois' death returns to his 
old relations with the Due d'Orle'ans, 
366, 367 ; warns Eleury of the latter 's 
failing health, 369 ; urges him to 
become prime minister, 370-372 ; re- 
ceives news of illness and death of 
tlie Due d'Orleans, 373, 374; his 
feelings and conduct, 377-379 ; in- 
terview with M. le Due, 379, 380 ; on 
a hint that he is not desired at 
Versailles retires to Paris according 
to a previous resolution, 380, 381 ; 
conclusion of his Memoirs, their 
truth and impartiality, 385-388 ; al- 
ludes to a continuation of them, 
385, 389 ; his style in writing, 389 ; 
end, 390. 

Saint-Simon (Duchesse de), refuses 
to live with Duchesse de Berry in 
the Luxembourg, 30 ; relief in being 
released by the death of the duchess, 
270; her dangerous illness, 271 ; re- 
ceives a hint from Fleury and La 
Vrillicre that her husband is not 
desired at Versailles, 380. 

Scottish Project (The), 34-40. 

Spain (Philippe V., King of), Saint- 
Simon's description of him in Madrid, 
310-312; hismethod of hunting, 315- 
318; and of travelling, 320. 

Spain (Elizabeth Farnese, Queen of), 
Saint-Simon's description of her in 
Madrid, 312-315. 

Staik (Earl of), emissary at the Court 
of France, 35, 36 ; his efforts to 
destroy the Pretender, 36-40 ; an un- 
mitigated rascal, his known charac- 
ter, 61. 



Telliek (P^re),his last years and his 
end, 246-249. 

ToRCY (J. B. Colbert, JManjuis de), ap- 
pointed to Council of Regency, Saint- 
Simon happily mistaken about him, 
24, 25. 

Toulouse (Comte de), his excellence, 
46; terms on which he was with 
Saint-Simon, 47 ; Saiut-Simun urges 
his reinstatement in his ranlc, 175, 
176, 178 ; his action at the Council of 
Kegeucy preceding lit de justice, 185- 
189 ; is reinstated in his rank, 203, 
205, 214, 219, 220; his conduct on 
tlic arrest of the Due du Maine, 231, 
232 ; his marriage to a Noailles, 356, 
357 ; declares his marriage, 384. 

Troyes (Bishop of), appointed to 
Council of Kegency, Saint-Simon 
fatally mistaken about him, 26, 27 ; 
scene with Saint-Simon in Council of 
Regency respecting bull Unigenitus, 
98, 99. 

Unigenitus (bull), brought up before 
the Council of Regency, 97 ; Saint- 

Simon's prediction about it, 98 ; re- 
monstrance of the Sorbonne and four 
bishops against it, 100, 101. 
Ursins (Princesse des), death and last 
years of, 349, 350. 

ViLLARS (Claude-Louis-Hector, Due 
and Marechal de), appointed head of 
council of war, 27 ; his mother's 
opinion of him, amusing incompe- 
tency at Council of Regency, 28, 29 ; 
brings up cannon to stop a fire, 148. 

Villeroy (Francois de Neufville, Due 
and iMareclialde), choice lesson given 
by him to tlie king, 123 ; refuses to 
obey regent, is arrested and exiled 
to Lyon, 338-341; his fury, 343; 
his end, 344, 345. 

ViTTEMENT (Abbe de), refuses a bene- 
fi'je, 256 ; his remarkable statement 
and pro])hecy about Fleury and Louis 
XV., 257, 258. 

Voltaire. See Arouet. 

Wales (Prince of), quarrels with his 
father George L, 125, 126. 



DC Saint Simon, Louis de Rouvroy 
130 Memoirs of the Uuc de 

S2A4 Saint-Simon 

': -Sr; ily.utiulKH;